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Full text of "The divine rule of Faith and practice; or, A defence of the Catholic doctrine that Holy Scripture has been, since the times of the Apostles, the sole divine rule of faith and practice to the Church, against the dangerous errors of the authors of the Tracts for the Times and the Romanists, in which also the doctrines of the Apostolical succession, the Eucharistic sacrifice, etc. are fully discussed"

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■ V THE 

Cljurclj of encjlanD 


FouMoco 1880. 

Fkank a. Bkvan, Ewju 

John Shbimptom, Ejq. 





Uffirvtici, quom ex Scriptoria argoantnr, in ■rri— Hunwi eoovcrtatar ipiiniin 
Svripturorum, . . . quia vuriu aint dicte, I't qui* non fomit M Us inTeniri varitaa 
ab liis qui netiriant Tniditimioni. Nuti cnim per BtUfM ti wmMa ilkwi, aad par 

vivani vixx-ni. — Irknjciis. 

^avffm fKTTTftMTtf nitrrttts xai vrrtpr)<f)ayiat Korrfyopia, tf aOtrtlv rt rity 
y(yf)afifi(v<ov, ^ iiT€i<Tuyfiv ratv fif) ytyfxififitptav, — Basil. 

AvTdjyKfis (i(Tiv al tiytai Ka\ Otonvivtrroi ypa(f)at np6t ttiv rrff dXri$tiat 
aTrayytXtW. — At» a N asi cs, 

I 8oe not liow you differ from thut opinion which ia TH« OBOinrD OT AU. Pa- 
MSTET, that is, that all things necessary unto salvation are not KXPKnnD »• tit 
Scriptures . . . There is nothing necessary to eternal life which k not both com- 
manded and expressed in the Scripture. I count it cxpreased, when it ia either in 
manifest words contained in Scripture, or thereof gathered by tteeestanf collection. 
— Akcitbisuop Wiiitgift. 

Wo of the Church of England affirm, that the Scriptnrea contun a complbtb 
Hulk op Faith asd Pkactice, and we rtject every doctrine and precept aa 
essential to salvation, or to be obeyed as divine, which ia not supported by their 
authority. — Bishop ToMxnfB. 









TO THE (nrrtrn : 

AOAiMar tun UAXiiKuuts kkaou or 



Hi KlfTI ilK AMI llillilTIIK TaM.VTHIItl'" Kt< 

Ct)r '^poiftolual ^urcr^^mn, t^ tf«d|arttlu gunita, iff. 

AH* ruu.T 









On the grodnd* on which thb doctbikk bests that Holy 


1 56 

Primeipal ComUmt*. 

An influt-ntml belkf Ib tUs 4doWmw «h* ««k of tlM %WI of OoiL . . 
PatrUtio^ TraditfoB BO »mm,l^mA ptoof of tedoelllBO of tho faH|IOI- 

tioii of Scripture ,. , 

The interual evidenee the bmmI impottaBt put ef te proof of tke doo* 

trine of the iiupir»tkm of Beripture 

Question now to be ooBMdered Kthe ovideBeo «• hB*% apart ftoat the 

witness of the Spirit aad the wonl mnMrntm of the TUTehtiwi, ftv 

the doctrine of the iiMfiiration of Scripture 

A proof of the divine nuMion of our Lord aud hia ApoctUai, will prove 

that the Scriptures of the Apostles are to be viewed ss the word ot 


Nature of the proof for the genuineness and ineomqit state of the 
Apostolical Scriptures 

Nature of the proof for their authenticity and cretHbility . . 

Nature of the proof for their inspiration 

The case of the three books written by Mark and Luke distinctly 

General remarks on the eridenoe referred to 

If Patristical Tratlition were considered sufficient to \\Ty>w ilie ^ciiuiin.-- 
ness and iue'orrupt stat« of Scripture, it would not follow, that it 
was sufficient to assure us of the oral tcaiching of the Apostles 

Men induceil to believe inspiration of Scripture on different grouitds. . 

Nature of the faith by which Scripture is believed to be the w<»d <^ 


VOL. II. b 


8^ 10 



v. IS 

S3— 2B 





.Summary view oftlic argnmcnt for tlic liiHpinition oftlw New Tcn- 

tamoiit 43 — 46 

Extraordinary Btatcmontii of Mr. Newman, and Tract 86, on thin nib- 

ject, diBcusscd and controverted 46 — 66 


That hoi.y Scripture ib our hoi.k divin^ly-rrvralkd rdlb 
ok faith and practicb, and hoi.k inkam.iblk judge of 
oonthovkrhieii in rki.ichon, and im conhkquenti.y, in the 
crf.dknda ok rki.igion, the bole authority which binoh 
the con8cikncr to belief in what it dblivbbs 57 — 170 

Prineipal Content*. 

Preliminary remarks, in which it u shown, that this follows from what 

has been already provetl 57 — 63 

But also provcttble on otlier grouniK to he now considered 63 

On the true nature and extent of the truth, that Scripture is the sole 

Divine Uulc of faith and practice 64 — 70 

Tlie additional arjn>nicnt8 by which the view here taken may bo 

established, with a reply to the objections by which it is assailed . . 70 — 124 

(1) Thft ftrgmnentB nnd obJ<TtionH derived from Scripture iUelf. 70— €6 

(2) The arguim-nw and objoctiong whirb m»y be derired from 
the nature and chnractfr of the Scriptures of tlM Hev Testa- 
ment, as it rcspc'ctH the object fur which they were written ... 65—100 

(8) The ar^imcnts and objertinns which may be derived from 

other Kt'ni'ral conHiderationu 100 — IM 

On the true meaning and extent of the assertion, tliat Holy Scripture 
is the sole infallible Judge of controTcrracs respecting the truths of 

revelation 124—126 

A consideration of the arguments and objections which may be ad- 
vanced respecting this truth 126 — 177 

1) From Scripture itself 126—129 

(2) From general considerations 129—176 


The fulness and sufficiency of the divine revelation 

conveyed to us in the holy scriptures 177 — 138 

Principal Contents. 

Preliminary remarks, showing that the proof already given that Scrip- 
ture is onr sole divine informant, is a complete proof of what is con- 
tended for in this chapter , 177 — 180 

But necessary to consider the examples by which the Tractators en- 


deavour fx) prove their case ; first with reference to the fundamcntiil 
articles, secondly, with reference to any other doctrine we receive ad 
divinely revealed, and any ritea we hold to be of divine institution. . 180, 181 
Proofs that there is no inadequacy in the Holy Scriptures, a8 it respects 
what are considered by our Cliurch the fundamental Articlea of the 

faith, but that tlicy are fully set forth in those Scriptures 181 — 195 

Introdnctory Bemarka 181'— 188 

This Bhown in particular for 

(1) The doctrine of the coiuub«tantiality of the Son with th« 
Father 188—188 

(2) Thepre-existenceofChrist 188, 187 

(3) That the Father U unbegotten 187—188 

(4) The divinity of the Holy Spirit 189, 190 

(6) The procession of the Holy Spirit 190— IftJ 

(6) The Incarnation of the Son 192—196 

Proofs that all the doctrines received by us as revelations from God, 
and therefore articles of faith, and all the rites held by us to be of 
divine institution, are delivered to us in the Holy Scriptures; so 
that there is no article of faith maintained by us, of which, or any 
part of which, our belief rests upon the tcsttmony of Tradition, 
our beUef in all such jwiuts resting wholly upon Scripture; and no 
rite received by us as uf divine institution on any other tliiui Scrip- 
ture testimony 195—437 

Statementa of the Tractatora on this aubjeet 1M^190 

Enumeration of the doctrine«, rites, &c. said by the Tractatura 
to be delivenHl to us by " Tradition," aud to depend wholly or 

partly upon that testimony alone 800 

On the points relating to the practkt of the Church. 

Introductory remarks 901 — 806 

Rites issued among us — 

(1) The non-literal acceptation of oar Lord'a words respecting 
washing one another's feet 806—808 

(2) The abrogation of the seventh day Sabbath, or, the non- 
observance of the seveuth day as a day of religloas imC........ 806^ 800 

Ordlnanees and ob6erTanc«A In use among us— 

(1) Infant baptism 800-814 

(2) The observance of the Lord's day, or, the sanctification of 

the first day of the week 214—899 

(8) The perpetual obligation of the Eucharist 829, 99S 

(4) The identity of our mode of consecration in the Eucharist 

with the Apostolical 18»— JM 

(5) That consecratioit by Apostolical authority is eaaential to ths 
participation of the Eucharist 995 8 M 

(6) The separation of the clergy from the people aa m distiact 

Order 838— 8M 

(7) The threefold order of the Ministry „ 996—241 

(8) The government of the Church by Bishops 841-247 

(9) The Apostolical Succession 947—848 

Of points purely doctrinal. 

(1) Baptismal regeneration 518, 349 

(2) The virtue of the Eucharist as a commemorative sacrifice ... 349 — 411 

(3) That there is an intermediate state in which the souls of the 
faithful are purified and grow in g^race, that they pray for as, 

and that our prayers beitefit them 411 — 499 

As to the doctrines of the descent of Christ into hell, and the 

validity of baptism performed by heretics 422, 423 



Of points ooriccniliiK tnnttcrH of fnct, &e. 

(1) The CHiiun uf Hcri|)tiire 4S8 

(2) That Mdchlzcduk'it fcaiit In a type of the Eucharist 4tt 

(8) That the I(<i<ik of CanticlvH representM the unlun l>etwevn 

C'hriHt and IiIh (.'liurch 4SS 

(4) That WlKddnj In the B<x»k of I'roverhii refcru to the Second 

Person of the Trinity 4** 

(6) The alleged ;<fr;)e<««i vlrRlnlty of the Mother of our Lord ... 428— 4S7 
Reply to objections "437, 438 



KiND THK Chkihtian RELIOION 439 — 4f76 

Principal Contents. 
Effect of proof already given tbat Holy Scripture is onr lole divine 

informant on questions of alleged obsftirity of Scripttire 439, 440 

Nature and extent of tbc view here contended for 440 — 444 

Tliat all the fundamental and essential jwints of faith and practice are 
clearly and plainly delivered in the Scriptures; and consequently 
that the Scriptures are well adapted and amply sufQcient to teach 

men all such points 445 — 456 


(1) From the testimony of Scripture 446—460 

(2) From the professed ohject of the sacred writers of the New 
Testament, which was, to teach ail the great truths of the Gos- 
pel without concealment or rescr%'e 450, 161 

(3) From the persons to wliom the writings of the Apostles were 
addressed 461 — 463 

(4) From the evident simplicity of the language of the New Tes- 
tament 453 

(5) From its actual effects 463, 454 

(6; From the nature of its subject, compared with the revealed 

character of ita Author 464 — 466 

Tbat all the doctrines of the Christian faith are as plainly delivered in 

the Scriptures as, to our knowledge, they are revealed 456, 457 

That the best and only infallible expositor of Scripture is Scripture ; 

or, in other words, that the best mode of judging of the sense of 

any passage is by a comparison of it with the testimony of Scripture 

in other parts ; first, by comparing it with the context, with passages 

similarly worded, with such^/ai» places of Scripture as can illustrate 

its meaning, and with all that is stated in Scripture resi)ecting the 

subject treated of j and, secondly, by considering it in connexion with 

the whole scheme of doctrine clearly revealed in Scripture 457 — 468 

General proofs 457 — 461 

Illustration in the text, "This is my body, &c." 461 — 468 

RepUes to objections 468 — 474 

Quotations from Dr. Chaloner and Bishop Horsley on the general sub- 
ject of this chapter 474 — 476 



&c. &c. 



It is a remark continually in the mouth of our opponent* and 
the Romanists, that if we do not allow the claim they set up for 
Patristical Tradition, we take away the foundation upon which 
rests the doctrine that Holy Scripture is the Word of God ; for 
that upon the testimony of Patristical Tradition rests altogether 
the doctrine of the inspiration of Holy Scripture. 

I hope to show, however, that this is very far from being the 
case ; and that, however insufficient may be the testimony of 
the Patristical Tradition we possess to be a certain witness of 
the oral teaching of the Apostles, or to be considered a divine 
informant, the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture stands 
unmoved, and on a firm foundation. 

This is the subject of the fifth of the positions we have noticed 
above (vol. i. p. 37.) as embodying the doctrine of our opponents 
on the question we are discussing; and to this point I think it 
desirable to direct the attention of the reader, before we proceed 
further, and shall accordingly devote this chapter to its con- 

It will not, I trust, be denied, that a saving belief in the doc- 
trine that Scripture is the Word of God, must be the work of 



the Spirit of God upon the heart ; and that such a faith inijrht 
be produced under tlmt influence, even though the evidence for 
the inspiration of Scripture from human testimony or argu- 
ment shouhl be in itself insufficient ; and that such a faitli is 
of the highest and most perfect kind, including all, and more 
than all, which can be produced by a faith wrought by the force 
of evidence alone ; and that any other faith, as long as it stands 
alone, is, in fact, useless. 

Here, however, I cannot but remark, that wlien our opponents 
are speaking on such subjects, there is a remarkable and lament- 
able lack of reference (to use the mildest phrase) to the necessity 
of this spiritual influence in the hearts of individuals to produce 
true Christian faith. 

For, as their favourite Archbishop Laud will tell them, it is 
" God's Spirit who alone works faith and belief of the Scriptures 
" and their divine authority, as well as other articles •/' our as- 
sent to this truth is " by the operation of God's Spirit." " The 
*' credit of Scripture to be divine, resolves, finally, into that 
" faith which we have touching God himself, and in the same 
" order. For as that, so this hath three main grounds^ to which 
" all other are reducible. The first is, the Tradition of the 
" Church ; and this leads us to a reverend persuasion of it. The 
" second is, the light of nature. . . . The third is, the light of the 
" text itself, in conversing wherewith we meet ivith the Spirit of 
" God, inwardly inclining our hearts, and sealing the full assu- 
" ranee of the sufficiency of all three unto us. And then, and 
" not before, we are certain, that the Scripture is the Word of 
" God, both by divine, and by infallible proof ;"^ from which 
latter passage (and many similar and stronger occur in the con- 
text) we may see, how far the Archbishop was from the senti- 
ments of our opponents on the point which forms the subject of 
this chapter. 

True Christian faith, then, in the doctrine that Scripture is 
the Word of God, rests ultimately upon a testimony of a much 
better kind, than the witness of man can supply in any case. 

To the question, — How shall we undoubtedly know the Scrip- 
tures to be the Word of God ? — "1 answer," says Dr. Chaloner, 

> Reply to Fisher, § 16. sub fiu.— ed- 1686. p. 74. 


" that we may know them to be so^ partly by the light of the 
" Word, that is, the divine notes and characters therein im- 
" printed, and partly by the enlightening and persuading grace 
" of God's Spirit, enabling us to see, and moving us to believe 
" what we see."^ And he remarks, — "The former, (which is 
" the Word itself, and the notes thereof,) cannot be denied by 
" an ingenuous Papist, to be there found ; for howsoever some 
" of them, bij a just judyinent of God, for being injurious to the 
" Scriptures, in branding them with obscurity, imperfection, i^c, 
" have been so blinded by the Prince of Darkness, that, (setting 
" aside the judgment of the Church,) no reason to them hath 
" a})peared wherefore .E sop's Fables should not as well as the 
" Scriptures themselves be thought canonical, yet others, as 
" Bcllarinine, Greg, de Valentia, Gretser, &c., do knowledge 
'^ these distinguishing notes to be in their kind argumentative, 
" and to shine in them, as the excellency of the doctrine, con- 
" cord, efficacy, and the like, whereby may be verified of the 
" whole Book of God, what the officers sent by the Pharisees 
" and Priests said of our Saviour, John vii. Never man spake 
" like this man. Nor is the latter (which is the inward testi- 
" mony of the Spirit) denied, by the learneder sort of Papists, 
" to possess another chief place in the discovery of the Scrip- 
" tures. For although in popular air they seem to vent the 
" contrary, yet when they are called to give a more sober account 
** in writing, they utter the same in eftiect which we do/'^ 

Whatever, then, may be the case, in this respect, with that 
which Patristical Tradition delivers to us. Scripture at least 
has a testimony to the fact of its being a revelation from God, 
far higher and more influential than any human witness. 

And that more influential witness of the Spirit is, we may 
hope, enjoyed by eveiy humble-minded inquirer after the truth. 
For if they who are evil, as our blessed Lord reminds us, know 
how to give good gifts unto their children, how much more 
shall our heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask 
him ! Nor will it be any cause for scepticism to a mind thtu 

> Credo Sanct. Eccles. Catliol.— ed. 1638. p. 104. 
« lb. pp. 98—100. 

B 2 


tauyht, if it snould even happen, that tlic external and lustorical 
evidence for the divine origin of that Word which he venerates 
as the Word of God, is less strong than it might be. 

How, indeed, is a conviction of the divine origin of Scripture 
to be produced otherwise in thousands who are unable to inves- 
tigate the external and historical evidence ? To those who know 
not what that evidence is, or are unable to appreciate it, it cannot 
be a sufficient foundation for faith. There is, indeed, an argu- 
ment arising from the internal excellence of the revelation con- 
tained in the Scriptures, which can be appreciated by all, and 
is no doubt a weighty motive with all for their belief in Scrip- 
ture as the word of God. But this is certainly the onl) part of 
the argumentative evidence for that truth, of which the poor and 
illiterate can become fully cognizant. 

And shall we deprive Christianity of its greatest glory, as 
being the Dispensation of the Spirit, and leave the poor and 
illiterate either to grope their way among the records of Anti- 
quity to find a solid foundation for their faith, or to pin their 
faith upon the affirmation of a few individuals, when Scripture 
offers such gracious promises of assistance to the sincere in- 
quirer after the truth ? 

To make Patristical Tradition the only ground for belief in 
this truth, is equiv'alent to admitting, that nine-tenths of man- 
kind have no sure foundation for their belief in it ; for however 
valid that testimony may be, they neither know what it is, nor 
are able to appreciate its value. 

Thus much, then, we have felt it necessary to premise on a 
point, which, alas ! the Tractators seem altogether to have 

Let us proceed however to a consideration of their views on 
this subject. 

To make the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture rest 
upon the testimony of the Fathers (as our opponents do), is 
equivalent to saying, that our belief in the divine origin of 
Scripture is founded on no better evidence than the belief of 
Mohammedans in the divine origin of the Koran. For the 
chief and vital point in this doctrine is, the divine origin of the 


revelation contained in Scripture, for which the belief of any 
number of individuals is no sufficient foundation for faith. 

Let us observe, that it is not a mere matter of fact which is 
here involved, not what could ever be the object of knowledge to 
any individual, but a doctrine which, in all cases, could only be 
an object oi faith. Moreover, it is a doctrine standing upon a 
foundation peculiar to itself. For, even granting, that Patristical 
Tradition might be a safe medium for the conveyance of the 
oral teaching of the Apostles, the concession proves nothing for 
the validity of such Tradition, as a proof of the inspiration of 
the Apostles ; for it is not the assertion of any number of indi- 
viduals, or of the Apostles themselves, that can be any sufficient 
proof to us of their inspiration. And consequently, the notion 
that the inspiration of Scripture rests upon the testimony of 
Patristical Tradition, has even less foundation for it, than the 
supposition that we possess in that Tradition a sure report of 
the oral teaching of the Apostles. If the latter were granted, 
the former would not follow from it. 

Nor does it help us, to take such Tradition as indicating that 
strict catholic consent which we may suppose from the pro- 
mises of Christ to ensure freedom from error ; for, supposing 
that we had such catholic consent, it could prove nothing in the 
point about which we are now inquiring, because its supposed 
authority rests upon the very truth in question. Catholic con- 
sent, to one who is yet unconvinced of this truth, is but the 
consent of a certain number of individuals ; and he who says, 
that he believes the divine mission of our Lord and his Apostles 
on such a ground, does in effect say, that he believes the Chris- 
tian religion because a certain number of persons believed it 
eighteen centuries ago, which would be as good a reason for 
believing any form of Paganism or Mohammedisra. 

This, therefore, is a truth, the proof of which extends over a 
much wider field than Patristical Tradition, and requires a much 
broader foundation than such Tradition can supply it with. 

We may, indeed, be indebted to Patristical Tradition as one 
and a necessary witness of the facts upon which the external 
evidence for Scripture being the Word of God is founded, but 
no assertions of Christian writers that the New Testament is a 
divine revelation can be of themselves any more a sufficient proof 


that su it i8^ than th(; ui^McrtioDS of Mohammedan writers that 
the Koran came from God. 

As this is a matter of no little importance, let us consider it a 
little more carefully. 

We are to believe this doctrine, say our opponents, on the 
testimony of Ecclesiastical Tradition. Nay, they tell us, that 
we' cannot prove it but by such Tradition. Now, as we have 
already observed, our belief in Ecclesiastical Tradition is 
claimed on two accounts, first, on the ground of its being a 
faithful witness of what the Apostles delivered orally, and 
secondly, on the ground that the promises of God forbid the 
supposition that the whole Church should be in error on an 
important point. 

Take, then, first, the case of an unbeliever, and suppose him 
to be told that he is bound to believe this truth on the evidence 
of Ecclesiastical Tradition. You, therefore, in effect tell him, 
that he is bound to believe this truth, because those of whose 
character and inspiration he is in doubt aflBrmed it, (which by 
the way he could learn as well from their writings as from Tra- 
dition,) and because in that very Book whose divine ongin is in 
question it is promised, that Christians shall not universally err 
in such a point. 

The absurdity of the attempt to prove the true character of our 
Lord and his Apostles, upon which the inspiration of the New 
Testament depends, from that Church-Tradition, whose value 
as a teacher in the doctrines of religion has no foundation but 
that character to rely upon, is transparent. 

Hence, pei-haps, it is, that the lovers of Tradition are so luke- 
warm (to say the least) as to the distribution of the Scriptures 
to unbelievers. For it must be admitted, that he who endea- 
vours to teach men from the Scriptures, (which, blessed be God, 
is the great principle of Protestantism,) must be prepared to 
prove, that they are the word of God, upon grounds that include 
much more tban the Church's testimony in their favour. 

And here is observable the great diflference between the mode 
of teaching men advocated by our opponents and the Romanists, 
and that which corresponds with the great principle of Protes- 
tantism. Our opponents anxiously urge upon us the doctrine, 
that we are to 2:0 to Patristical Tradition for what we teach 


men, and that after we have so done, Scripture is to be resorted 
to as a parallel revelation to confirm us in the views derived from 

The Fathers, ho-.vever, to whom they are so fond of appealing, 
certainly took a different course, for they appealed to the Scrip- 
tures as the great teacher of mankind, and urged upon unbe- 
lievers the various evidences upon which their claim to divine 
authority rests ; herein manifestly dissenting from our oppo- 
nents, and showing that they regarded those evidences as suffi- 
cient to prove that divine authority. The proof of this will be 
given hereafter. 

The process of spiritual education, then, according to the 
notions of our opponents, is this, — The learner is to be taught 
by the representative of the Church the traditions of the Church 
upon the subject of religion, and then, when he has embraced 
the truths of Christianity upon the testimony of the Church, 
the Church delivers to him certain writings composed by those 
from whom she has originally derived the laith, and the learner, 
having beforehand become a believer in the truths revealed in 
those writings as from God, and a faithful d: ' f the Church, 
receives those Scriptures as divine U|X)n i uiony of the 


'MVhen we say therefore," our opponents may urge, "that 
" it is Church-Tradition by which alone we kuowthat Scripture 
'' is the word of Grod, we are speaking of those who have been 
" brought up in the bosom of the Church, or at least have been 
" instructed by her," i. e. in short, they mean, (whether they 
proceed to so distinct an admission of the fact or not,) of be- 
lievers, and consequently of those who already believe in the 
divine mission of our Lord and his Apostles, and therefore that 
the revelation we possess in the Scriptures came from God. 

Now, there can be no doubt, that, in the very earliest times 
of the Christian Church, many did become acquainted with the 
revelation now contained in the Scriptures through the medium 
of that instruction which they received from ministers of the 
Church, who communicated to them the true unadulterated 
doctrine delivered by our Lord and his Apostles. i3ut even 
they did not believe its divine origin on the sole ground of 


CInirch-Tradition. Their belief was founded partly upon the 
internal evidence afforded by the power and excellence of the 
revelation, and partly upon those external testimonies, such as 
miracles, &c., which included much more than the teaching of 
the Church. 

But, to assume, as is done in the reasoning of our op- 
])oncnts just alluded to, that the true and unadulterated doctrine 
delivered by our Lord and his Apostles has been perpetuated in 
the Church by Tradition to the present time, so that her pupils 
are instructed in that doctrine from Tradition and not from 
Scripture, is to assume one of the very points in dispute, viz. 
that Tradition is a safe medium for the conveyance of doctrinal 
matters. Wc deny the truth of this position, and maintain, 
that had the truth been left to Church-Tradition for its per- 
petuation, it would have required a miraculous interference on 
the part of God to have preserved it; and consequently, that 
where the teaching of the Church is agreeable to Scripture, it 
is to Scripture that wc are indebted as the means of its preser- 
vation, and that where that teaching goes beyond Scripture, no 
claim can be justly made for it as inspired teaching, on account 
of the uncertainty of Tradition. 

We deny, therefore, the truth of the assumption here made, 
that the Church, where she teaches the truth, teaches from Tra- 
dition. Church-Tradition has not preserved the truth. The 
Scriptures have presened it, and the Church, through the 
Scriptures, has been enabled to retain it. We couscquently 
deny the inference here dra^^^l from that assumption, namely, 
that a belief in what Patristical Tradition teaches leads to an 
acknowledgment of the divine origin of the truths of Scripture. 

And, in fact, the main question upon which the inspiration 
of Scripture depends, still recurs. For how, I would ask, was 
the pupil of the Church convinced, that the religion preached 
to him by the Church came from God ? Not, certainly, from the 
mere fact that the Church delivered it. The chief and neces- 
sary mean for that conviction was the power of the Spirit of 
God impressing it upon his heart and conscience, and this, 
united with the internal evidence in its favour, is all of which 
nine-tenths of mankind would be capable. Have they not. 


then, equal proof in every respect for the divine origin of the 
same religion when they meet with it in the pages of Scripture ? 
Is the teaching of the Church so superior to the teaching of the 
Apostolical writings, that the Christian religion commends itself 
to the consciences of men more in the former than in the latter? 
The evidence which induces men to receive the orthodox teach- 
ing of the Church as a divine revelation, is the evidence upon 
which they believe the divine origin of the religion delivered to 
us in the Holy Scriptures. 

How, indeed, were many of the heathen in early tunes 
brought to a knowledge and belief of the Christian religion by 
the first Christian Missionaries, if the internal testimony united 
with the work of the Holy Spirit on the heart is not sufficient 
to produce faith in it '( And if that testimony is sufficient, then 
the witness of Scripture does not absolutely require the evidence 
of history to produce faith in the doctrine that its declarations 
are a divine revelation. For surely the testimony of the Apostles 
in the New Testament is as efficient a preacher as any uninspired 
man can be. 

True, it may be objected, that even a proof of the dirine 
origin of the truths delivered to us in the Scriptures, does not 
strictly prove, that those particular writings were indited by in- 
spired authors ; but, not to say, that under the cireumstanees 
of the case it goes a long way towards it, the great and only 
essential point is, whether the truths delivered in them are of 
divine origin, whether the authors of those revelations contained 
in them were inspired. In a word, the great point in the ques- 
tion of the inspiration of the Scriptures is, whether the religion 
delivered in them is from God. And though the proof of this 
will not demonstrate the inspiration of the Scriptures, it is the 
most necessai-y part of the evidence for the proof of that truth, 
and the only thing necessary for salvation. 

The testimony, therefore, of the Church or Patristical Tradi- 
tion falls at least far short of a proof of the doctrine of the 
inspiration of Scripture. 

But, although the moral internal evidence, united with the 
opci-ations of the Spirit of God upon the heart, may be with the 


generality the great and ulnmsl sole j)n><>t, and «itlj all a imc. -t- 
Hiiry part of the proof, of the divine origin of tin n huioii 
delivered to U8 iu the Scriptures, and conH(;(}uently of the in- 
spiration of the Scriptnreti, yet no doubt there is also powerful 
exUrnal evidence to this truth ; and, so far as coneerns //i^ 
arywnent for the inspiration of Scripture, this^ external 
evidence i.^ a necessary part of the proof of tlje iiiHiiiration of 
these ))urticular writings, and an important part of the proof of 
the divine origin of the revelation contained in them ; though 
facts, I think, show us, that, in all cases, the great inducement 
to men to embrace the Christian faith as from God is the 
internal evidence of its divine origin derived from its moral 

Now, this external evidence to the doctrine of the inxpiration 
of Scripture and to the question of the extent of the inspired 
writings rests upon certain /ac/«, the knowledge of which must 
be conveyed to us by the testimony of others. Here, then, 
Patristical Tradition necessarily comes in as an important part 
of that testimony. But even here it forms only a part of the 

And in order to bring the matter more fully and clearly be- 
fore the reader, I will now proceed to consider the evidence we 
have, apart from the witness of the Spirit, to the doctrine of 
the inspiration of the Scriptures, a question which of course in- 
cludes that of their canonicity, genuineness, and uncorrupted 
preservation, as we shall see in the course of the inquiry. 

I will take the case of the New Testament only, as that is 
the one more particularly concerned in this controversy; and 
the inspiration of the New Testament being proved, the inspira- 
tion of the Old Testament easily follows. 

And, as a preliminary remark, I would observe, that if we 
can establish the divine mission of our Lord, and the inspira- 
tion of his Apostles, it follows, that their instructions on the 
subject of religion are to be considered as the Word of God. 

I aui quite aware, that this position will be disputed by some, 
who, in Older to enhance the value of "Tradition," do not 
regard it as a sufficient proof that a book is inspired, that it 


wa« writtea by an inspired Apostle, and therefore hold the 
necessity of " Tradition/' for assuring us that these particular 
productions of the Apostles were inspired. But I would ask, 
h jw was the distinction made between their inspired and unin- 
spired productions ? By what authority did they who formed 
the canon of Scripture decide, that these productions only of 
the Apostles were inspired ? Will it be said, that there were 
other writings of the Apostles on the subject of the Christian 
religion which were not inspired ? or, was it not the sole question 
with the Church, when admitting books bearing the Apostles' 
names into the canon, whether they were genuine? All that 
the Apostles delivered on the subject of religion, being delivered 
by persons divinely inspi * be considered as the Word of 

God; and all that the i Church ever imagined to be 

necessary to prove respecting the writings of the Apostles, when 
determining the extent of the canon, waa their geouiueness. 

Suppose a work not included in the canoo eould be proved 
to huvc been written by one of the Apostles after the day of 
]*eutecost, would any man who fully believed that it was written 
by an ins])ii'ed A])ustle, venture to say, that he would not 
receive it, because the Apostle might not have been inspired iu 
writing it ? 

This question, as it appears to me, is one of j>i' r-ort- 

auce in this matter. For, it* it be not admitted, thai the 

Apostles wrote on the subject of religion was divinely inspired, 
then what evidence have we, that those j ' ' ions 

of the Apostles included iu the New Testa ^ td? 

We want, in that case, divine direction as to what productions 
of the Apostles were inspired, and what were not ; and how is 
this to be obtained ? The Romanists >\ill reply, — From " Tra- 
dition " and the authority of the Church. But if by " Tradi- 
tion " they mean the oral teaching of the Apostles, I reply, that 
we have not the slightest evidence that the Apostles ever did 
claim for those particular productions of theirs any greater 
authority than for the rest of their instructions ; and that the 
internal testimony of their writings shows, that they entertained 
no such idea. It is quite true, that they spoke sometimes by 
permission, and not by commandment, and gave advice for which 

12 f;Kot;Nns v<iK itKiiKr 

they tliil not claim tlic ili > ( t i , • i , i tl,. 1 1 1. -; I. it 

this in no pHMif, tliut tlii\ uin nut ill iill tniK-. -mi. .i !■ t 

Spirit when funnally delivering the ductrincs and pn i , i 

Moreover, the language of the Father* clewly thou , ^ ' 
they considered it to be only necesaary to prove that a book or 
doctrine came from at> Apostle, to prove it* intipiration and 
authority;^ and that, when determining the canon of Scripture, 
the sole question with them was, what writings they po»- 
•eaaed, oompoaed by the Apoatlca, or at least under their imme- 
diate superintendence and sanction ; and, (as 1 iihall prove 
hereafter,) that they regarded no books as of authority but thoae 
that were so composed. 

And they who say, that such direction in to be obtained from the 
testimony or authority of the Church, claim for the Church a de- 
gree of inspiration greater than that they allow to the Apoiitleii, for 
they can only attach certainty to the decision of the Church by 
supposing that the Church is pcnnanently inspired to deliver the 
truth, while they allow not such permanent inspiration to the 

It may be a matter for conndention, how far that inspinlioii 
extended ; and we know from facts which they have themselves 
stated, that it did not ensure them infallibility in all respects 
and all matters; but we are now considering them merely as 
instructors in the Christian religion. The common objection 
derived from the reproof given to Peter by Paul, is well disposed 
of by Tertullian.2 

> See EusEB. Hist. Ecdes. Kb. ilL cap. 24 and 25. See ako di. 88, wImr Um 
canoiiicity of the Epistle to the Hebrews i> eridentlj nippoeed to be proved, if 
there is rea^n to tliink, that it was written by St. Pud ; and particnlarlj the ]aii> 
guage of Serainou (lib. vi c. 12.) where, spealdng of aomewritii^ fidaely aaeribed 
to Peter, ho says, " we receive Peter and the rest of the Apostles as we woold 
Christ, but we reject the writings falsely ascribed to them." And this clearly 
follows from the way in which the books that were to be received as of authority 
in the Cliristian Church are constantly mentioned by the early Christian writers ; 
who describe them as the Gospels and the JEpittles of the Apoitleg, the Evangeli- 
cid and Apostolical Scriptures. And so Jerome says of St. John, that he was 
" both an Apostle, an Evangelist, and a Prophet ; an Apostle in that he wrote to 
the churches as a master," &c. (Joannes et Apostolus et Evangelista et Propheta. 
Apostolus quia scrii^sit ad Ecclesias ut magister, &c. Hiekox. Adv. Jovinian. 
lib. i. § 26. Op. tom. ii. col. 279, ed. Vail. Yen.) 

- Tebti^ll. Adv. ;Marc. lib. iv. c. 3., and De Praescr. cc 23, 24. 


THAT tCEirrrRB It IN*riEBI>. IS 

Let our opponeDts obsene, also, in what tituation it plaeea 
their favourite doctrine of " Tradition/* if thej tftj, that, to 
prove the iuspiratiou of the Scriptures, it it not iBftdeBt to 
prove the inspiration of their authors. For then, how are we 
assured, that that which the Church proCenM to 6ttvn by 
"Tradition" from the oral teaching of tho Apoitkt VM in* 
spired ? It is not tufficient evidence in thit cate for the autho* 
rity of such tradition, even to suppose that it it an infalliblj 
true re|)ort of what the Apostles delivered; but we matt 
su|)pose, thut there is aUo some evidence or authority mmuo* 
where to assure us, that those particular inttmetioot of the 
Apostles, which Patristieal Tradition is said to have handed 
down to us, were delivered by inspiration ; and I would ask, 
where that evidence or authority can be found. Tbere waa 
certainly no claim ma(|^ by the Primitive Church to dirtingwieh 
between the doctrines or instructions dchvered by the Apottlci^ 
BO as to decide which was delivered by inspiration and which 
not. If the Apostles are not alwaya tafe goidea in their imttrme 
tiom on the subject of religiom, wbore are we to k)ok for neh 
guides ? for I suspect, that moat moi will be disposed to think, 
that if the Apostles were not always to be trusted in tbeir 
instructions, neither is the Church; for cortainly, neither 
the promises made to the latter, nor its history, give stronger 
ground for confiding in it, than the promisee made to the 
former, and their history', do for confiding in them. 

As far, then, as concerns those books of the New Testament 
which we can prove to have been written by the Apostles, a 
proof of the divine mission of our Lord, and the inspiration of 
his Apostles, will equally prove, that the Scriptures of the 
Apostles are to be viewed as the word of God. And this I take 
to be the only way of proving the inspiration of all t] 
have delivered on the subject of religion ; for it is t\k\< 
the inspiration of each sentence could not be separately proved 
by any application of internal and external evidence, and can 
only be deduced from a proof of the inspiration of the author, 
that is, his being recognised as a teacher commissioned and 
einpo\vei-ed by God to instruct mankind in the true religion. 

Besides the Scriptures of the Apostles, three books only, viz. 


the Gospels of Mark and liuke, and the Acts of the Apostles 
by Luke, have been admitted into the canon of the New Testa- 
ment. Tiieir ease we shall consider distinctly ; our present 
inquiry relates only to the writings of the Apostles. 

Now, the way in which the subject of otir present inquiry 
may be considered as presenting itself to the mind is this. It 
is afllirineil, that many ages ago there appeared on earth those 
who professed to be authorized by God to instruct mankind in 
the nature of the true religion. If then, their claim is a just one, 
we are bound to guide ourselves by their instructions. 

Our first question, then, will surely be. What was their 
doctrine, what the nature of their instructions ? The answer 
to this question we shall naturally seek more especially in those 
writi7}gs which have come down to us, attributed to them, and 
professing to give an account of their doctrine ; and our first 
inquiry must necessarily be, Are those writings genuine and 
incorrupt ? 

It does not, of course, enter into my design here to point out 
at length the whole of the evidence on these and other points 
connected with our present inquiry, as such a discussion would 
be both out of place and unnecessary, after what has been 
already published on the subject,^ and would require a volume 
to do any justice to it ; but chiefly to point out the character of 
the evidence we have on these points, in order to show where 
and how far Church-Tradition comes in. 

On what grounds, then, may we receive these writings as 
genuine, that is, as written by those whose names they bear ? 

We have, first, the evidence afforded by the writings them- 
selves. It cannot be denied, that from the language, style, 
and general character of the contents of these writings, wx have 
strong evidence in favour of their being genuine. 

We have, secondly, the historical evidence. 

And here wx naturally look, first, to the testimony borne in 
their favour by the Christian writers, or, in other words, to 

1 See the works of Leslie, Addison, JenMn, Stillingfleet, Lardner, Paley, and 
others, and especially Mr. Home's very valuahle " Introduction to the Study of 
the Scriptures." 


Patristical Tradition. There has been a series of writers in the 
Christian Church from the earliest times, who have all acknow- 
ledged the genuineness of these writings ; i. e. with some excep- 
tions, to which we shall advert presently ; and considering the 
way in which these writings have been handed down from one 
to another, this is a strong argument in their favour. 

Here, however, let me caution the reader against a statement 
of Mr. Keble, that, as long as the canon of the New Testament 
was incomplete, the doctrinal " Tradition" existing in the Church 
of the oral teaching of the Apostles, was " divinely appointed in 
the Church as the touchstone of canonical Scripture itself.'* 
(}). 27.) This statement he attempts to prove by the admo- 
nition of St. Paul to the Galatians, " Though we or an angel 
from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which 
we have preached unto ijou, let him be anathema," (Gal. i. 8.) ; 
and from 1 John ii. 7 ; 20, 21, 27 ; iv. 1 j 3. 2 John 9. Here 
is another instance of what our opponents are so fond of, an 
assumption of the very point in question. The warnings given 
in these passages are against the hearers oj^ the Apostles them- 
selves believing anything contrary to the doctrine which they 
had been taught by the ApQstles themselves in their oral teaching, 
the authority of which, of course, no one has ever denied. 
Therefore, says Mr. Keble, Tradition, i. e. the report of that 
teaching handed down from one to another, was " divinely 
a})pointed as the touchstone of canonical Scripture ;" and adds 
to this extraordinary' nonscquitur the following as extraordinary 
flovirish about it. " This use of Apostolical Tradition may well 
" correct i\\e presumptuous iireverence of disparaging the Fathers, 
" under plea of magnifying Scripture. Here is a tradition 
" so highly honoured by the Almighty Founder and Guide of 
" the Church, as to be made the standard and rule of his own 
" Divine Scriptures. The very writings of the Apostles were to 
" be first tried btj it before they could be incotporated into the 
" canon. Thus, the Scriptures themselves, as it were, do homage 
" to the Tradition of the Apostles ; the despisers, therefore, of 
" that Tradition [as if any one did despise the oral teaching of 
" the Apostles, and that the question was not merely whether 
" we have got that teaching or not] take part inadvertently or 


" profanely with the despiscrs of the Seripturc itself." ([>. 28.) 
It is hardly necessary to point out, that these remarks arc 
founded upon a mistake ; namely, an identification of the real 
tradition or teaching of the Apostles themselves with the report 
of it by others. 

And then, adds Mr. Keble, " on the other hand, it is no less 
" evident, that Scripture, being once ascertained, became in its 
" turn a test for everything claiming to be of Apostolical tra- 
" dition." And so. Tradition having been in one generation the 
touchstone of Scripture, the obligation was returned in the next, by 
Scl"ij)turc pointing out what was Apostolical Tradition ; and thus 
they mutually assisted one another. But it would be worth know- 
ing, why, if Tradition could be so depended upon in one generation 
as the touchstone for ascertaining what was Scripture, there 
should be any need in the next of Scripture to point out what 
was Tradition. This looks very much as if there was a lurking 
consciousness that, after all. Tradition stood upon a somewhat 
slippery footing. 

But enough of such statements. How stands the case in 
reality ? The writings of the Apostles were either given in per- 
son or sent by trusty messengers to the converts of the writers. 
In the latter case, (though it can hardly even then be said, 
that the oral teaching of the Apostles was " the touchstone " 
of such a writing,) no doubt, the writing would not have 
been received, if it had contained anything clearly contrary 
to the oral teaching of the Apostles. But there, at least, their 
office of judgmg ended, and the question of the genuine- 
ness of the writings was set at rest and determined by tJiose 
who were contemporary with the Apostles, and had heard them 
preach, and were in fact their own coiiverts. And it appears 
from 2 Thess. iii. 15, that St. Paul adopted a particular form 
of subscription to his epistles that might be a mark of their 
genuineness. " The salutation of me Paul,'* he says, " with 
mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle, so I write." 
And the writings thus admitted and acknowledged as genuine, 
(and the originals of most, if not all of them, long preserved in 
the archives of the Apostolical churches,) were handed down 
from one to another, and hence found their way into the Universal 


Church as writings of acknowledged authority.^ And if, in 
after times, a question arose about any particular book or books 
professing to come from the Apostles, the inquiry was, Can it 
be traced up to the Apostles through the testimonies of those 
who have preceded us?- and a comparison was instituted be- 
tween it and the undoubted writings of the Apostles.* If the 
book could be plainly traced up to an Apostle, there was an end 
of the question. If it could not be so traced up, even though 
it might not be contrary to Apostolical doctrine, its canonicity 
would be proportionably doubtful. And hence it was, that 
doubts were entertained by some in the Primitive Church as to 
the canonicity of some of those books which were al'terwards 
admitted into the canon by, generally speaking, the Universal 
Church; admitted, evidently, — not by "the touchstone" of Tra- 
dition, for I suppose that Tradition was, at least, not more certain, 
or definite, or authoritative, at the close of the fourth century, 
(when the first canon of any General Council, giving a cata- 
logue of the canonical books, was passed at Laodicea,*) than it 
was in the earlier periods of the Church, nor could a Council 
make that catholic consent to which alone authority is ascribed, 
where it did not Jind it, but — because it was generally considered, 
that the evidence for their genuineness was such as to entitle 
them to a place in the canon. And I must say, that the recol- 
lection of those early doubts (though unwarranted doubts) 
might have saved Luther from the opprobrium sometimes cast 
upon him by those who love to bark at the Reformers, for 
doubting at one time as to the canonicity of a book about 
which some in the Primitive Church also doubted. The notion, 
therefore, of any Father, or collection of Fathers, setting them- 
selves up in the purer times of the Church to judge of the 
canonicity of writings professing to come from the Apostles 
by the touchstone of a doctrinal " Tradition** is utterly unwar- 
ranted. ' 

Now, to return to our subject, this testimony of Christian 

' See TBHTriL. De lVa?scr. c. 36 ; and Adv. Marc. iv. 5. 

• See ErsKB. Hist. Eccl. lib. iii. cc, 3 and 25. 

' See ErsEB. Hist. Eccl. iii. 25 ; and Tkbtuix. Adv. Marc. iv. 2. " Denique," ic. 

* This Catalogue included all that we receive but the Book of Revelation. 
VOL. H. C 


Antiquity to the genuineness of these writings is both important 
and necessary. Its absence, indeed, would be fatal. But is it 
all we have, or is it even alone sufficient ? If the heretics, and 
the Jewish and heathen adversaries of Christianity had all from 
the beginning denied the genuineness of these books, would it 
have been a satisfactory state of things ? We must inquire, 
then, what tlieir testimony was, and we find a still strunyer proof 
of the genuineness of these writings in the testimonies of the 
heretics and the Jewish and heathen adversaries of Christianity. 

I do not mean to say, that all the heretics universally admitted 
the genuineness of all the books of the New Testament as we 
now have them, because some of them rejected some books, and 
others other books. But, taking them as a body, the argument 
derived from their testimony to the genuineness of Scripture, 
even in parts opposed to their notions, is a very strong one ; 
and as such it was applied long ago by Irenseus, — " So great 
" certainty is there," he says, " with regard to these Gospels, 
" that the very heretics themselves bear witness to them, and 
" every one of them endeavours to confirm his doctrine out of 
" them. For the Ebionites who use the Gospel of Matthew only. 
" are by that very Gospel refuted as in error respecting the Lord. 
'' And Marcion, who mutilates the Gospel of Luke, is proved a 
" blasphemer against the one true God by those parts which are 
" retained by him. And they who separate Jesus from Christ, 
" and say that Christ did not suffer, but that Jesus suffered, pre- 
" ferring the Gospel of Mark, may be convinced of their error by 
" reading that with a love of the truth. And the Valentinians 
" using the Gospel of John entire in order to prove their conjunc- 
" tions, may be proved by it to be in error, as we have shown in 
" the first book. Since therefore they who oppose us give their 
" testimony to these [i. e. the four Gospels] and use them, our 
" proof derived from them is fii'm and trustworthy."^ 

From this passage, then, it is evident, that even at that early 
period Irenaeus considered, that Patristical Tradition was but a 
part of the proof for the genuineness, &c. of Scripture, and that 
an important part of it consisted in the testimony of those 

1 Ikes. Adv. haer. lib. ili. c. xi. ed. Mass. pp. 180, 190. (ed. Grab. p. 220.) 


who might be considered more independent and impartial 

Moreover, that the testimony of the heretics as a body was in 
favour of Scripture as a whole, follows from the very complaint 
so frequently made by the Romanists and our opponents, — a 
complaint no doubt justified to some extent by fact, and sup- 
ported by the Fathers, — that the heretics were in the habit of 
appealing to Scripture in support of their views. 

We have next to inquire, whether these writings, as we now 
possess them, are in an incorrupt state. 

Here, again, it is natural to observe, first, the care of the 
Church with regard to them. The early Christians would no 
doubt be exceedingly solicitous to preserve these writings incor- 
rupt. The originals seem long to have been preserved with 
great care, not in the custody of any private individual, but 
among the archives of the churches ; and copies were taken by 
persons of approved character and qualifications. Moreover, the 
earliest preachers of Christianity took great care to have copies 
dispersed everywhere and left with their converts.^ And 
numerous translations were made in very early times,^ some of 
which remain to this day. 

But Church-Tradition, strictly speaking, has nothing to do 
with the matter. We want only fidelity and accuracy in copy- 
ing, and handing down these writings themselves in an incorrupt 
state to the next age. It is obviously a very different thing to 
hand down to posterity certain written documents, and to hand 
down reports of oral teaching. A\'ritten records left in the 
keeping of a Bishop, and handed down by each to his successor, 
(as the Scriptures were in early times,) must surely be looked 
upon in a very different light from oral reports of what this or 
that former Bishop of the Diocese had preached. 

And over and above this, we have still stronger testimony in 
favour of the incorrupt state of these writings in various other 
ways ; viz. in the number and antiquity of the copies, and their 

J See ErsEB. Hist. Eccl. iii. 37. 

* AuavsT. De dix-tr. Oirist. lib. ii. c. 5. ed. Ben. toni. iii. p. 1. eol. 21. Chhts. 
in Job. bom. ii. (al. 1 .) ed. Ben. torn, viii p. 10. Theodoket. De cur. Grai?. 
aliect, lib. v. ed. Schulze, torn. iv. pp. 839, 840. 



being found in all parts of the world, all agreeing with each 
other in all csHcntial points ; in the antient vergions ; in the 
gimilarity of their contents to the accounts given of them by the 
earliest Fathers, and the quotatiojis from them in those Father* ; 
and also in the testimony borne to them by the great bo<ly of 
the heretics, whose evidence tends to substantiate, some one part, 
some another, of the sacred volume ; and lastly, in the quota- 
tions and references made by the enemieg of Chrutianity. 

IJut, notwithstanding we have all this evidence (of the strength 

of which we can form no idea without following it out into its 

details) in favour of the genuineness and incorrupt state of these 

writings, and that the (lucstion as to the preservation of written 

documents is essentially different from that which respects the 

preservation of oral teaching, Mr. Newman boldly telU us, that 

" whatever explanations the Protestant in question makes in 

" behalf of the preservation of the written word, will be found 

" applicable in the theory to the unwritten." (p. 46.) As well 

might it be said, that one who heard a report that had passed 

through a multitude of hands of a discourse orally delivered, 

was as likely to be accurately informed respecting it, as he who 

had had delivered to him, through the same number of hands, 

a written copy of the discourse actually delivered. Even were 

it true, that we depended solely on Patristical Tradition for the 

incorrupt state of the sacred books, that would not afford the 

slightest proof that such Tradition was to be depended upon for 

accurate information as to the oral teaching of the Apostles. 

The argument is, as usual, taken from the Romish armoury. 
" They," says the Jesuit Fisher, " that can deliver by uniform 
" tradition a false sense, why may they not also deliver a false 
" text as received from the Apostles ? an argument convincing 
*' and unanswerable." To which our learned Bishop White 
thus replies : — " The Jesuit imagineth that this argument is 
" invincible. But let not him that girdeth on his harness boast 
" himself as he that putteth it off. . . . The argument reduced 
" to form will discover its own weakness. ' If the text of the 
" Scripture may as easily be corrupted as the sense, then all 
" they which can deliver by uniform tradition a false sense may 
" also deliver a false text. But the text of the Scripture may 


" as easily be corrupted as the sense. Ergo, all they which can 
" deliver by uniform tradition a false sense may also deliver a 
" false text.' The assumption of this syllogism, which although 
'' it were concealed by the Paralogist, yet it must be added to 
" make the argument perfect, is apparently false, and the con- 
" trary is true. The text of the Scripture cannot so easily be 
'' corrupted as the sense, and therefore it is not neoeasar)', that 
" they which, following human tradition or their own invention, 
" may deliver a false sense, shall likewise deliver a false text. 
" First, the text of the Scripture is contained in records and 
" books which are dispersed throughout the whole Christian 
" world, and preserved in all churches, and the copies and trau- 
" scripts of them are innumerable. . . . Secondly, when God 

" Almighty woukl have the knowledge and memory of things 
" to be perpetual, he commanded that tbey should be committed 
" to writing. Exod. xvii. 14, and xxxiv. 27. Deut. xxxi. 19. 
"...... Thirdly, experience of all age* testifieth, that the text 

" of the Scripture hath been preserved inviolable even among 

" Jews and heretics Fourthly, whereas the Jesuit com- 

" pareth unanimous tradition of the sense of Scripture with 
" the written letter and text of the Scripture, unleu he 
'* equivocate in the name, terming that tradition which it 
" collected from the Scripture, such uniform tradition aa he 
" boastcth of is very rare ; for it must be such as in all age* 
'' and in all orthodoxal churches hath been the same. Now 
" the most undoubted and uniform tradition of all other is con- 
" cerning the number and integrity of the books of Holy Scrip- 
" ture, and yet, in this, difference hath been between one church 
'' and another, and the later Roman Church disagreeth with 
" the antient."^ And so, elsewhere, he says, "It is not neces- 
" sary, that they which truly deliver the text, shall also truly 
" deliver the Apostolical sense ; and on the contrary, a lying 
" sense may be delivered by them which retain the true and 
" incorrupt letter of the text, as appeareth by the Pharisees, 
" Ariaus, Donatists, and many other heretics.'' - 

* White's Reply to Jesiiit Fiaher'a Answer to certain questions, pp. 123 — 5. 

* lb. pp. 120, 121. Bishop White is one of the dirines of the " Anglo-Catholic 


And 80 Augustine points out, in a pa>*'<;if^<; already quoted, 
on what a different ground the Holy Scriptures Htatid in thin re- 
spect from any other writings, and consequently from the source* 
whence our opponents' traditive statements and interp' -* 

are derived; the writings of no bishop, however ill , 

being capable of being preserved as the canonical Scripture is 
preserved, on account of the number of languages in which it is 
found, and its being constantly rehearsed in the Church, which 
rendered any attempt at corruption or forgery useless. ' 

And in another passage he distinctly places the evidence wc 
derive from the testimony of the Church for the genuineness 
and incorrupted preservation of the Sacred liof^ks on the same 
footing, as to its character, with that on which wc receive the 
works of Plato, Aristotle, and others, as genuine and incorrupt.' 

It may be well to inquire in the next place, what evidence 
we have that these writings are authentic ; that is, that the facts 
related in them, really took place. A consideration of this 
evidence will lead the mind more easily to the great point 
which we have to consider afterwards, the great truth sought to 
be established. 

We have, then, for this truth, first, the internal evidence of 
these writings themselves. The facts related are not such as 
men are likely to have feigned ; they are frequently injurious to 
the character of the writers ; there was no reasonable motive for 
such a fiction, for it led the authors only into temporal cala- 
mities and death ; and many similar weighty considerations 
conspire to show the truth of the facts stated. 

We have next the external or historical evidence. First, that 
derived from the Church. But this is not Church-Tradition, 
but merely the fact of the belief of the accounts given in these 
books by so many, at a time, when, if the events recorded in 
them had not been true, they would have obtained no credit. 
Secondly, that derived from the witness of heretics, and also 
from the numerous and direct testimonies aflforded by the Jews 
and heathens, the enemies of Christianity, that the chief events 
here recorded did really happen. 

* See vol. i. p. 195 of this work. 

- AwGXJST. Contra Fawst. lib. 33. c. 6. Op. torn. viii. col. 466, 467. 


To these evidences may be ad Jed further those c ions 

which show us the credibility of the sUtements < - ^ 'ire ; 
such, for instance, as prove the credibility of miracles, remove 
apparent contradictions, and show that there is nothing in these 
writings contrary to reason ; none of which, however, as is ev i- 
dent, can be derived at all from Church-Tradition. 

In all these preliminary points, then, there ia one only iu 
which Patristical Tradition, projMirly speaking, can aid us ; and 
that is, on the question of the genuineness of the Scriptures; 
and there, though important and necessary as part of the proof, 
we have other and still more unexceptionable testimony. 

Supposing, then, that the Scriptures we possess are genuine, 
incorrupt, authentic, and credible, we have next to inquire, what 
evidence we have, that they may be reckoned the word of God ; 
which, as we have already obser>'ed, is tantamount to the in- 
quiry, what evidence we have of the divine mission of our Lord, 
and the inspiration of his Apostles ; or at least a proof of the 
latter will equally demonstrate the former. 

Let us begin with the divine mission of our blessed Ix)jd. 

Now, to go to Church-Tradition for any direct proof of this, 
or of the inspiration of the Apostles, is obviously absurd ; for, if 
there were no foundation for these truths, any, even the highest, 
degree of Catholic Consent would have no real weight ; for all the 
value that can be ascribed to it in a matter of this kind, rests upon 
the supposition that these are truths. The only weight, there- 
fore, which Church-Tradition can have in these points, is from its 
being the representation of the opinion of a vast number of 
individuals, who, from the time of the appearance of our Lord 
to this, have held that these are truths ; which may reasonably 
be an introductory motive^ to belief in them, rendering their 
truth in some degree probable, but nothing more ; for the same 
evidence is aflforded to Mohanimedism and Paganism. 

The truth we are now seeking to establish, rests upon two 
sorts of evidence, external and internal. 

The external consists chiefly of the evidence derived from the 
four following sources. 
1 See Laud's Conf. with llshcr, and SinxisarLKST's Grounds &c. pp. 187, 8. 


(1) The voice from heaven at our Lord'H baptimn, and at hin 

(2) The miracles he wrought ; especially as connected with 
the character of his doctrine. 

(3) The prophecies of the Old Testament fulfilled in him, 
niul liis own recorded in the New Testament. 

( l) The power and success of the Gosp<!l, notwithstanding its 
opposition to the feelings and desires of the natural mind. 

To enlarge upon these points, and show the demonstrative 
nature of the proof derived from them, is not now our object. 
It has been done over and over again, far more ably than we 
could hope to do it. But we have to point out, upon what 
testimony this external evidence rests, and to show, how little 
Church-Tradition has to do with it. 

For the first, then, we have the testimony of the Apostles in 
their writings, (already shown to be genuine and authentic,) 
recognised by Celsus, the great enemy of Christianity. This 
affords at least some probable evidence of the divine mission of 
our Lord. 

For the second, that is, our Lord's miracles, we have the testi- 
mony, not only of the Apostles, but what is more, of his great 
enemies, the Jews; and that, not merely as recorded by the 
Apostles, but by their own vniters, and also of heathen writers. 

For the third, we have for the existence of the prophecies 
fulfilled in him, long previous to his incarnation, the irrefutable 
evidence of the books of the Old Testament, then and still in 
the keeping of his great enemies, the Jews; and for those 
uttered by him, the testimony (already proved to be authentic) 
of his Apostles, and for their fulfilment as regards the Jews, the 
universally-received attestations of historj', as well as the evi- 
dence of their present state. 

For the fourth, we have the testimony, both of friends and 
enemies, and of our own senses. 

The reader may at once see, then, how far we have to depend 
upon Church-Tradition for this evidence. 

The internal evidence is derived from the excellent nature and 
effects of the doctrine which our Lord taught. The appeal here 
is to the hearts and consciences of mankind ; and however those 


who have been accustomed from infancy to enjoy its light, may 
slight the evidence which its moral excellence aflfords of its 
divine origin, it was looked upon at its advent, by those who 
could appreciate it, in a very different light. By the early 
teachers of Christianity, this was the great evidence put forward 
in proof of its divine origin ; an evidence, of which time cannot 
weaken the force, and which, as it appear* to me, still remains 
the most powerful inducement to men to embrace the Christian 
faith, the most convincing argument of its divine origin. It is 
quite true, that the prepossessions of the natural mind may often 
lead it into error, when so judging; but that is due, not to the 
character of the evidence from which the judgment is formed, 
but to the corruption of our fallen nature. It is no more a proof 
that Christianity does not show its origin by the internal evi- 
dence it carries with it, than heretical niisallegations of Scrip- 
ture show, that Scripture does not bear a clear testimony in 
favour of the orthodox faith. 

There is one observation, however, I would make respecting 
it; and that is, that it appears to me to be applicable only 
in proof of the divine mission of the FoMOkdar of our reUgion ; 
because that religion, when once introduced, might be preached 
by many who were entirely destitute both of inspiration and 
divine commission to do so. The evidence of the internal wit- 
ness of Scripture to its divine inspiration, is, I conceive, of this 
kind; viz., that the revelation made, taken as a whole, is so ex- 
cellent in its nature and effects, as to bear a powerful witness to 
its divine origin, and consequently to the divine mission of Him 
who first delivered it to mankind ; not that the internal evi- 
dence can be a sure criterion as to any particular book to esta- 
blish its inspiration ; though it may, in some cases, be sufficient 
to negative it. 

Thus, then, do we establish the divine mission of our Lord ; 
and consequently the truth, that what he delivered was the 
word of God. 

But then it becomes necessary to inquire, what were the 
qualifications of those who have delivered his doctrine to us. 
Though we may suppose, that they were honest and faithful 
narrators of events, have we any assurance, that they were pre- 


Rurved from error in delivering that doctrine to us, and still 
more in enlarging upon, and explaining, and adding to that 
doctrine? If, indeed, we agreed with the KonianiHtH and our 
opponents, that fallibh; men could convey to us a " practically 
infallible " report of doctrinal truths, we need not, as far as our 
Lord'rt teaching was concerned, have made any further in(piiry; 
but (and 1 shall leave to our opponents to give the reason) it 
certainly appears, that even as to this, we have not been left to 
the teaching of mere fallible men. 

We have proof, that thf Apostles were inspired ; and this fact, 
which may be proved by their miracles connected with the 
character of their teaching, may show, that when we assumed in 
the proof of the divine mission of our Lord that their writings 
were authentic, we had not merely the proof of it already given, 
but a stronger in their inspiration. 

Assuming, however, that the evidence adduced orj the former 
points has been ccmclusivc, we ground the doctrine of their in- 
spiration on the following evidence: — 

(1) The promises of our Lord. 

(2) The affirmations of the Apostles in their writings. 

(3) The miracles they wrought, especially as connected with 
the character of the doctrine they preached, showing that they 
were to be depended upon. 

(4) The prophecies they delivered. 

In the Jirst of these I refer to such promises as that recorded 
in John xvi. 13, that the Spirit should guide them into all truth. 
(See also John xx. 21, 22.) In the second, to such declarations 
as that of St. Paul, when he says to the Thessalonians, " When 
" ye received the word of God, which ye heard of us, ye received 
" it, not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of 
" God, which effectually worketh, also, in you that believe;" 
(1 Thess. ii. 13;) and those of St. Peter, where he says to the 
Christians of his day, that the Gospel had been preached unto 
them with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, (1 Pet. i. 
12,) and exhorts them to be "mindful of the words which were 
" spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the command- 
" ment of us, the Apostles of the Lord and Saviour,^' (2 Pet. 
iii. 2,) and ranks St. Paul's writings with the "other Scrip- 


tures;" (2 Pet. iii. 16;) and generally to the tone of authority 
in which they speak, as infallible expositors of the doctrines of 

To give weight to the evidence derived from these two sources, 
we must, uf course, assume the divine mission of our Lord, and 
also that the Apostles were not impostors; for which we must 
refer back to the proof of the authenticity of their writings ; or 
we may ground it upon that which we have now to notice as — 
The third, and an independent and still stronger testimony 
to their character, viz., the miracUs they wrought, especially 
when we consider the nature of the doctrine they preached. 
These may not perhaps be a direct proof of the inspiration of all 
which they delivered on the subject of religion, but they 
certainly show their true character, and are a divine attestation 
to the truth of their claim to be considered divinely-appointed 
teachers of mankind. By these God bare witneu to them. 
(Heb. ii. 4.) 

Now, the testimony upon which we believe these mirades to 
have been wrought, is derived — frst, from the account left us 
in writing by one of the followers of the Apostles ; I mean the 
book of the Acts of the Apostles, written by Luke, of whidi the 
genuineness, authenticity, &c. may be established, as in the ene 
of the Apostolical Scriptures ; and seeondty, from the admissions 
of Jews and heathens, who were compelled to resort to the 
charge of magical practices against tlu-in. to account for the 
miracles they performed. 

The fourth ground is that atfordL-d us by the prophetical 
spirit vouchsafed to them, the evidence of which we see, not 
only in the Scriptures, but in events confessedly subsequent to 
their times. 

On these grounds, then, we believe, that the Apostles were 
inspired, and being thus divinely preserved from error, and in- 
structed in the truth, were both infallible witnesses of the 
doctrine taught by our Lord, and infallible instructors of man- 
kind in religion. 

We thus establish, then, the truth in question, viz. the divine 
mission of our Lord, and the inspiration of his Apostles, and 
consequently that the Scriptures of the Apostles are the word 


of God. And whenever a strict proof of thiit truth ia sought, 
it must be of this kind and nature. And, as is evident, the 
sole use of Church-Tradition in it, is, to bear witncMH to us, who 
live at a considerable diHtanee of time from the period in which 
Christianity was first promulgated, of certain Jacti cognizable 
by the senses of mankind, matters which in the first instance 
were not objects of faith but of knowledt/e, not revelations of 
doctrine, in which fallible men are so likely to make mistakes, 
but facts such as neither friend nor foe, if honest, could make 
any mistake about ; and further, the tradition of the Church is 
only a part, and not the strongest part, of the pro<jf of those 
facts and events having taken place. 

There now remains, then, for consideration, the case of those 
three books, the authors of which were not Apostles, viz. the 
Gospels of Mark and Luke, and the Acts of the Apostles by 

And here I wish to draw attention to a fact which appears to 
mc to have almost, if not quite, escaped observation, but which 
the general language of the Fathers on the subject, and parti- 
cularly a passage of TertuUian, seem clearly to prove, namely, 
that the rule by which the canon of the New Testament was 
formed, was this, that such works only should be admitted into 
it as were either written by Apostles or directly commended to 
the Church by Apostles for its guidance and instruction. The 
passage of Tertullian to which I allude, is one in his 4th book 
against Marcion, where, being about to prove that the Gospel 
received by Marcion was spurious and of no authority, he says, 
" We lay it down in the jSrst place, that the volume containing 
" the authoritative records of the Gospel, (evangelicum instru- 
" mentum,) has the Apostles for its authors, upon whom this 
" office of publishing the Gospel was imposed by our Lord 
" himself; if, besides these, it admits Apostolical writers, it 
" admits not such in their own character alone, but as associated 
" with the Apostles, and as inferior to the Apostles, since the 
*' preaching of the disciples might be suspected of being in- 

1 K the Epistle to the Hebrews is not allowed to be St. Paul's, (though there is, 
as appears to me, satisfactory evidence that it is,) it must be added to the above. 


'* fluenced by the desire of glory, if the authority of the masters 
" sfiould not be affixed to it, or rather the authority of Christ 
" which made the Apostles masters. In fine, John and Matthew 
" of the Apostles instil the faith into us, Luke and Mark of 
" apostolical men renew the faith already imparted,** &c. * 
And further on he adds, — " If the teacher himself of Luke, 
" [i. e. St. Paul,] sought the authority of thoae that were 
" Apostles before him, both for his faith and preaching, 
" [alluding to St. Paul's going up to Jeruaalem soon after hia 
" conversion to see the Apostles,] kow wuiek mart skouU I 
" require that authority for the Giupel of L " " ' h was Mtfeev. 
" sary for the Gospel of his Matter f"* .N ^,1 think, ean 

be more clear, than that these passages fully show, that, in the 
opinion of Tertullian, nothing waa to be received into the canon 
of the New Testament, but that which had an Apoatle for its 
author, or had received direct Apostolical sanction. And this 
is very much confirmed by what Jerome says in the passage 
quoted from him p. 12 above; that John waa "an Apostle, 
inasmuch as he wrote Epistles to the churchea aa a maater." 

The fancy, therefore, of some persons, that the Primitive 
Church, that is, a certain number of its rulers, took upon them- 
selves to decide, whether this man or that, this work or that, 
was inspired, has no place but in their own imaginations. 

Such was the principle, then, upon which the Primitive 
Church acted in forming the canon ; and accordingly we find in 
the Fathers a recognition of this principle, in their having 
taken care to inform us, that these books received Apostolical 

Thus, of St. Mark's Gospel it is said by Tertullian, that it may 
be considered as Peter's, (Petri adfirmetur,) whose interpreter 

' Coustituinius in primis, Evangelicum Iiutrumentum Apflitntn* 
bere, qtiibus hoc luuuus Evaii^lii pruiuulgandi ab ip«> Domino at impoalaB. 81 
et ApoiitoIicu8, uoii taiuen HJfOi^ wd cum Apoitafis et poat Apn^nln^. QnnwUm 
pnrdicatio clLscipuloruni suspectk fieri poMet de gkrias itndio^ a non **'M*nt iUi 
uiK-toritas ma^strurum, immo Christi, qui magistroa Apostolos fecit. DcidmM 
nobis tidem ex A{M)(>toli« Jobaime« et Mattharas inauoant, ex Apoatofida Loom efc 
Marcus instaurant. Tebtcll. Adv. Marc. iv. 2. Op. ed. 16&1. p. 414. 

^ Igitur 8i i})se illumiuator Lucse auctoritat^m aut«oeasorum et fidei et pnefi- 
cationi sun optavit, quauto magis earn Evangdio Lucse expustulem, quae Evan< 
gelio maestri ejud fuit neoesaaria ? Id. ib. 


Murk wus ;' by Eusebius, that the hearers of Peter, at Rome, 
" earnestly entreated Mark, Peter's follower, whose Gospel is 
" extant at tliis day, that he would leave with them »omc 
" written record of that doctrine they had heard; neither did 
" they desist till they had prevailed with the man ; and thus 
" they gave the occasion of writing that (jospel which is called 
" the Gospel according to Mark. When the Apostle Peter 
" understood by the revelation of the Holy Spirit what was 
" done, he was much delighted with the ardent desire of the 
" men, and confirmed that uyritiny by his authority, that to 
" thenceforward it shouU he read in the churc/tet ;" ' which ac- 
count Euscbius gives from Clement of Alexandria, and says that 
Pupius had borne the same testimony.' The same thing is 
stated by Origen,* Jerome, the author of the Synopsis attri- 
buted to Athanasius, Cosmas Indicoplenstes, Nicephorus, and 
Eutychius of Alexandria.^ And there is a passage in the 
Second Epistle of Peter, which seems strongly to indicate an 
intention of leaving behind him some written record of the 
gospel he had preached, where he says, " I will endeavour, that 
" ye may be able, after my decease, to have these things always 
" in remembrance." (2 Pet. i. 15.) 

Of St. Luke's Gospel it is said by Tertullian, that it was 
" customarily ascribed to Paul;'^^ and in the passage quoted 
above, that it owed its authority to Aj>ostolical sanction ; and 
by Origen it is called "the Gospel commended by Paul ;"" and 
by Eusebius it is said, " They say also, that Paul was wont to 
" mean the Gospel according to Luke, when, speaking as it were 
" of his own Gospel, he says, ' According to my Gospel ;' "^ and 
by Nicephorus, that it was published by the direction of Paul, 
and by the author of the Synopsis attributed to Athanasius, that 
it was dictated by Paul.^ 

1 TEBTrLL. Adv. Marc. lib. iv. c. 5. p. 416. 

- ErsEB. Hist. Eccles. lib. ii. c. 15. 

' ErSEB. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. ult., and lib. vi. c. 14. 

* ErsEB. Hist. Eccles. vi. 25. 

* See these testimonies in Lardner's SuppL to his Creslibility. Works, vol. v. 
pp. 332 et seq. 

* Lucse digestum Paulo adscribere solent. Tebttll. Adv. Marc. iv. 5. p. 416. 

7 EusEB. Hist. Eccles. vi. 25. 

8 ErsEB. Hist. Eccles. iii. 4. 

' See Lakdnee as above, pp. 352, et seq. And see Ib£N. lib. iii. c. 14. 


Of both these Gospels, also, it is said by Eusebius, that they, 
together with that by St. Matthew, were shown to St. John, 
who "approved of them, and confirmed the truth thereof by 
his own testimony."^ 

The Gospel of St. Luke particularly needs some wieb te«ti- 
mony to it to give it authority, as St. Luke himself only pro- 
fesses (as it appears to me) to give the accounts that had been 
funiished him by others who had been eye>wttneaaea and rnini*- 
ters of the Word.^ 

With respect to the Acts of the Apostles, we have not the 
same express testimony to its )i i i-ceived Apostolical sanc- 

tion, excepting in the Synopsis ted to Athanasius, where 

it is said to have been dictated by Peter ;* and as it seems pro- 
bable, that both his Gospel and the Acts were written netrij about 
the same time, and while Paul was at Rome, (whoM eompuikHi 
and disciple more especially Luke was,) it is not improbable, 
that the former part of the Book of the Acts might be Peter's 
dictation, though not the latter, which relates to seenes wit- 
nessed, not by Peter, but by Paul and Luke himself. The prin- 
ciple, however, being established by the patMge of TertuUian 
above quoted, that the works of Apostolical men needed the 
sanction of an Apostle to establish their canouicity, it is not 
absolutely necessary for us to have direct testimony to the fact, 
knowing the principle uj)on which the Primitive Church went 
in recognising its canonicity. 

And still further, we have in St. Augustine a very clear 
though indirect testimony, that such was the ground upon 
which all these three books, the Acts included, were admitted 
into the Canon. For, speaking of the Gospel of St. Luke, he 
says, — " But he [Luke] has not only brought down his narrative 
" to the resurrection and ascension of the Lord, so as to have a 
" place worthy his labour among the four authors of the Evan- 
" gelical Scripture, but also afterwards so wrote the things that 
" were done by the Apostles, — those things, that is, which he con- 
" sidered to be sufficient for establishing the faith of those who 

> ErsEB. Hist. Eccle6. iii. 24. 

« Luke i. 1—3. 

' SjTiops, Script. Sacr. n. 76. Athan. Op. ed. Bened. torn. ii. p. 208. 


" read or heard thcin, — that his hook alone was oonaiderad trust* 
" worthy in the Church, in it« account of the acta of the Apotitles, 

" all those ht-iiig rejected who dared to give an unfaithful account 
" of the acts and sayings of the Apostles, liecaiute (quippe) Mark 
" and Luke wrote at a time at which they could he sanctioned, 
** not only hy the Church of Christ, but also by the Apostles them' 
*' selves ijet remaininij in the Jlesh"^ 

Such, then, being the principle upon which the canonicity of 
these books was aduiitted by the Primitive Church, we, admit- 
ting that principle, have only to inquire, whether we have suf- 
ficient testimony to induce us to believe, that the Apo«tles did 
commend them to the Church for its guidance and instruction ; 
and for this we have the fact of their admission into the canon 
by the Universal Church from the earliest times, as books that 
had received that sanction, (for this, as we have shown, was 
considered necessary for such admission,) united with the direct 
testimony borne to their having received that sanction by many 
of the Fathers of the Church. And after we have received the 
writings of the Apostles as inspired, I know no reason why we 
should hesitate to admit this testimony as sufficient — seeing the 
congruity of their statements with the revelation we have already 
admitted — to entitle them to a place in the canon ; for all that 
we want to know, is, the fact that they received Apostolical 

If our opponents tell us, that we are not able to judge of 
their statements but by " Tradition," I would remind them of 
the way in which TertuUian proved, in his controversy with 
!Marcion, the uncorrupted preser\ation of his copy of St. Luke's 
Gospel. " If," saith he, " the Apostolical Gospels have come 
" dowTi to us uncorrupted, and our copy of Luke's Gospel has 
" such congruency with their rule as to remain with them in the 
" churches, then it is clear, that Luke's Gospel has come down 
" to us uncorrupted until Marciou's sacrilege."^ If this argu- 

* Iste autem non solum, kc. . . . Eo quippe tempore scripsenmt Marcns et 
Lucas, quo non solum ab Ecclesia Christi, verum etiam ab ipsis adhuc in came 
manentibus Apostolis probari potuerunt. ArorsT. De consens. Evangelist, lib. iv. 
c. 8. Op. tom. iii. P. 2. p. 155. 

2 Si enim Apostolica Integra decurrerunt [decucnrrenmt], Lacae autem quod 
est secundum nos adeo congruit regulx eonmi, ut cum illis apud ecclesias maneat. 


ment is valid, then it neither was, nor is, necessary to go to 
Tradition to judge of the internal evidence of these books, 
(which Mr. Kehle would lain persuade us was the great test in 
the admission of books into the canon) ; but a comparison of 
tht^m with the Apostolical, will show a conyrumey with theirnde, 
and this is all that the interuul evidence can do with respect to 
such books. 

If asked, then, upon what grounds I receive any one of the 
Apostolical books of the New Testament as inspired, (for we 
must, of course, begin with those written by the Apostles,) I 
reply, My first inquiry >8 as to the genuineness and uncorrupted 
preservation of the book. The next is as to the character of the 
author. Finding him to be one of the Apostles of our Lord, I 
inquire what evidence I have as to the divine mission of our 
Ivord, and having established on internal and external evidence 
(as befoi*e stated) the character of our Lord and his Apostles, I 
conclude in favour of the inspiration of the book. \ ' ' \ 
method will answer for all the books of the New 1 
w ith the exception of the Gospels of Mark and Luke, and the 
Acts of the Apostles. 

There are, indeed, as we have already intimated, some books 
of the New Testament, for the genuineness of which the testi- 
mony of the Primitive Church was not consentient. Conse- 
quently, as far as Patristical testimony goes, there is an uncer- 
tainty in the case. And hence, I suppose, it is undeniable, that 
he who tirmly believes those books to be part of the canon, must 
have some better foundation for his belief than Patristical testi- 
mony, or the voice of the Church. And there is nothing, 
perhaps, which more strongly shows the inconsistencies to 
which Romish views on these matters lead, than the fact, that 
while the llomish Church of the present day maintains the 
canonicity of the Epistle to the Hebrews as the infallible witness 
of Church-Tradition, and tells us, that from Church-Tradition 
only can we learn the canon, it is a historical fact, that in the 
fourth century this infallible witness of Church-Tradition main- 
tained that it was not canonical. 

jam et Lucap constat integrum decucurriss* u««|ne ad sacrilegium Marcionis. Tkk - 
TrLL. Adv. Marc. iv. 5. p. 416. 


84 (iRr)rM)>; ron rriirr 

And licre 1 would a.'>k .<ui uj,],.,.., .m>, ijj>on what evidence 
they receive these InrnkK. If they nay, Upon I'atristictl Trsdi- 
tion, they contradict their own tenet, that cathoHc consent alone 
18 a Hufficlent foundation for faith, and pin their faith upon the 
declarations of that portion of the Catholic Church wIiohc deter- 
minations please them. If they admit the insufficiency of 
Patristical Tnidition in proof of the canf)nicity of these lKM)ks, 
they overturn the position against which we are here con- 

A\'ith respect to the three l>noks not writJen hy Apostlc', 1 
woiild remark, that for the two former we have the internal tes- 
timony, (to be judged of by its congruenc)- with the writings of 
the Apostles already admitted as inspired) — which is not, how- 
ever, 1 grant, a sufficient proof after the introduction of Chris- 
tianity, — united with the direct and express testimony of the 
Fathers, that they were sanctioned and recommended by A})0- 
stles, and the unanimous testimony (as far as it is ascertainable) 
of the early Church in their favour, manifestly grounded on 
their having received Apostolical sanction. With respect to the 
third, viz., the Acts of the Apostles, we have the internal testi- 
mony (to be judged of as before) united with the unanimous 
testimony of the early Church in its favour, grounded mani- 
festly on the supposition of its having received such sanction. 

AVith respect also to those books that are rejected, the ques- 
tion may be at once determined historically. For instance, as 
to the pretended Epistle of St. Paul to the Laodieeans, the case 
is clear. There is no sufficient proof of its genuineness. And 
the writings of those w ho were not Apostles have, of coarse, no 
pretence, in themselves, to a place in the Canon, and therefore 
need not be considered. 

Hence, when Mr. Newman tells us, " We include the second 
" Epistle of St. Peter, we leave out St. Clement's Epistle to the 
" Corinthians, siinphj because the Church Catholic has done 
" so," (p. 341, 2,) he might as well say, that we leave out the 
Epistles of Ignatius^ or the woiks of Irenreus_, or anybody else, 
" simply because" the Fathei's have done so. We neither put 
in, nor leave out, " simply because" the Fathers have done so; for 
1 would ask, whether, supposing that they had said, " We grant 
"^ that Clement^s Epistle never received Apostolical sanction, 


" but we reckon it among the inspired books," that Mould have 
been a sufficient reason for putting it into the Canou. If not, 
it is not " simply because" the Fathers admitted one and rejected 
the other, that we do the same. We look to the grounds of 
their judgment. 

Such, then, is the evidence for the genuineness, uneorniptcd 
preservation, inspiration, and consequent cauonictty of the New 
Testament Scriptures. A brief sketch of its leading features 
has been all that our limits in this place have allowed us to give. 
But the more it is expanded into its details, the more complete 
and convincing will it be found to be. And of this evidence the 
Tradition of the Church is but one part ; and in the most im- 
portunt part of the question, namely, the divine origin of the 
revelation contained in the Scriptures, it ia a part of the evidence 
w holly insufficient by itself to oonatitute a prooH The ntmort 
which it could do, is, to certify aaof the geBttineiiflaa and inoor. 
ru])t preservation of those writings. 

Further ; were we even to admit, that the Patriatieal Tradition 
we possess is by itself sufficient to assure na of the genuineness 
and incorrupt preservation of the writings of the New Testa* 
ment, (a question which it is unnecessary to enter into, beesoae 
we have other evidence on the point,) it would by no means 
follow, that it was a sufficient and certain witness of the oral 
teaching of the Apostles so as to be a divine infonnaut. For it 
is a totally ditfereut thing tu hand down certain books as 
written or sanctioned by the Apostles, and to give a correct 
report of their oral teaching, whether concerning doctrines or 
rites. In the case of doctrines more especially, it is evident, 
that testimony which might be very sufficient to establish the 
genuineness of the Scriptures, might be very inaoffieient to 
establish the genuineness of doctrinal atatemcnta profeasing to 
come from the oral teaching of the Apostles. I may believe 
fully the genuineness of a work, upon evidence which would 
be wholly insufficient to establish the certainty of a doctrinal 
statement reported to me as having been orally delivered by the 
author of that work. True, our opponents ground their proof 
of the correctness of the report of it to which they refer, on the 

D 2 

3(5 r.aoiNDs roii iiei.ikf 

universal aj^reement in that report hy ull Catluihcs evcrywherp, 
urging that such consent proves its correctness. But then, m 
we have already observed, the proof of this consent is lamentably 
deficient, and in fact the claim to it evidently unfounded. Tiiere 
is no such testimony for the Apostolical origin of any df)ctrinc 
or rite not contained in Scripture, or any interpretation of Scrip- 
ture, as for the genuineness of the books of the New Testa- 
ment ; I believe I might say, of all, but certainly of all but those 
books whose genuineness was doubted of by some in the Primitive 
Church, in which case neither party can be assured on the point by 
the testimony of Patristical Tradition. And were we even to sup- 
pose the existence of such consent, its weight in reporting an oral 
doctrinal statement of the Apostles, however great, would be very 
different, as we have already intimated, from the weight which 
it has in bearing witness to a certain book having come from the 
Apostles. Were we even to allow, then, that in both cases 
there was consent in the remaining Fathers, (which we by no 
means do,) and that that testimony was sufficient in the latter 
case, it would by no means follow that it was so in the former. 

Nay more, the character of the testimony is altogether dif- 
ferent. The witness borne to Scripture is direct. It is of this 
nature. Such and such a book was written by such an Apostle, 
the book being cited under his name. But in the case of 
doctrines, interpretations, or practices, it is not in general pre- 
tended, that the witness appealed to by our opponents is of this 
direct kind ; and if such a pretence be made, facts will im- 
mediately disprove its truth. There are few cases in which the 
Fathers can be shown to have made, generally, any direct claim 
to be delivering the oral teaching of the Apostles; and the two 
in which such claims are made with the most confidence, and 
by the greatest number, are just those which are generally dis- 
allowed, viz., the doctrine of the millennium and the practice of 
giving the euchavist to infants. 

Moreover, in the delivery of a doctrinal statement, we have 
to contend with all the difficulties arising from the carelessness 
and inaccuracy of the writer, the indistinctness of his own con- 
ceptions, the bias to which bis subject inclined him, — difficulties, 
•which, as any man of experience in such matters will admit, are 


quite sufficient to prevent the possibility of any proof of consent, 
even where consent might exist. 

And as to matters of fact, and the rites and practices of t)ie 
Church, what is there for which we have anything like con- 
sentient Patristical testimony for its Apostolical origin ? We 
have, no doubt, on many points, Patristical testimony strongly 
confirmatory of the correctness of our interpretation of Scrip- 
ture in matters both of doctrine and practice, but the only 
testimony which would bear a comparison with that which 
testifies to the genuineness of Scripture is a direct ascription of 
the doctrine or practice to Apostolical teaching. 

Let our opponents, then, no longer envelope themselves in 
the smoke of line words and vague generalities, but fairly tell 
us, what doctrine or practice, or what interpretation of Scripture 
can challenge such direct testimony to its Apostolical origin 
from the Catholic Fathers as a body, and point out the pastoffea 
in which such testimony is to be found. For instance, let them 
poiut out the passages in which it is stated, that the Apostles 
duected that infants should be baptized, and then let them 
compare with the evidence they find on thia point the direct 
testimonies of the Fathers to the authorship of the books of the 
New Testament. The evidence will be found to be of an alto- 
gether different kind. 

It is quite true, that the process by which the truth that 
Scripture is the word of God is arrived at, and the motive* 
inducing men to believe it, may be very different in different 
individuals. One may begin at one part of the proof and 
another at another, one may be chiefly influenced by one part, 
and another by another. And, generally, in the case of those 
w ho have been instructed by the Church, the teaching of the 
Church as to the sacredness of these books is the introductory 
motive to belief in them as the Word of God, so that any sub- 
sequent inquiry respecting them is commenced with a feeling of 
reverent regard towards them. And this feeling united with a 
contemplation of the internal testimony to the divine origin of the 
revelation they contain, exhibited in the exceUent nature and 
effects of that revelation, may, and often will, (always, with the 


ORsistance of God's Spirit,) produce in the mind a liclief in thi» 
truth, without any such elaborate investij^tion of the evidence 
for it as that to which we have juct alluded. 

But, in no casr, and under no circumstances, can the Tradi- 
tion of the Church be juntly takrn as sufficient proof of a matter 
which involves a doctrine affecting the very foundation upon 
whi<h the Church Htandn. Kven were Tradition a safe guide, 
as far as concerns conveying to us the oral traditions of the 
Apostles, it would not at all follow, that it was a safe guide in 
this point ; for the doctrine that Scripture is the Word of Ciod, 
necessarily depends upon the character of our Lord and his 
Apostles ; and this cannot be proved by any oral declaration of 
the Apostles to that effect, and atill less by any decree of the 

But, doubtless, for the genuineness and inspiration of thoM 
particular writings which form the New Testament, there can 
be no sufficient proof to the unassisted mind, without good 
external evidence ; and the external evidence we have for these 
truths, appears to me to be, as far as external evidence can go, 
(for those parts, at least, of the New Testament that have 
universal tradition in their favour,) conclusive. 

And hence, it is the duty of every man who is qualified by 
education to do so, to inquire into the evidences for the doctrine 
that Scriptiu-e is the word of God ; and unless he does this, he 
cannot possess that evidence of the truth of the doctrine of the 
inspiration of Scripture which is necessary (putting out of sight 
the work of the Spirit upon the heart) to form so complete a 
proof of it as to leave no room for reason to cavil or hesitate. 

God, indeed, may so convince a man's mind of any truth, by 
a direct operation upon the soul, that such a person would be 
guilty, and without excuse before him, for not believing it. 
But in the first place, this can be no evidence to any one but 
himself. And further, on account of the discordant opinions that 
have been maintained under the supposition of such an internal 
testimony, it is clearly the duty of such an one to see that it is 
not opposed by other reasonable testimony, and to ascertain, 
as far as he is able, how far it is supported by other testimony. 
Granted, that he may not be able to see or understand all the 


evidence tbei'e is in its favour, and that if he finds that it is not 
opposed by other valid evidence, this may be enough for satis- 
faction in 8uch a case; yet, the inquiry it is his duty to make. 
And this I conceive to be practically the situation of many 
Christians, who, from areoBuUnees, are prevented from taking 
thut clear and comprehensive vieir of the eridmeet for Scrip- 
ture which demonstrate its divine origin. Here, m far as human 
assent could go, the ground for belief is lessened ; but, in the 
case which we are now supposing, the work is cue of Divine 
])ower, and therefore the satisfaction possessed by the mind pro* 
portionably strong. Nevertheless, the same reason which makes 
it incumbent upon such a man to look beyond the internal im- 
pressions produced upon his own mind in favour of the truth, 
either by the intrinsic power of the word or by divine influence, 
goes to show, that the imjuiry should be earned as far as the 
inquirer is able to investigate the subject. It is the duty and 
the privilege of one who feels that religion is his chief concern, 
thus to investigate the proofs for the divine origin of the Scrip- 
tures, and so to hti^cnirtlun ami i'uiiifv his faith in what they 

Instead, however, of wishing uicn i 
our opponents urge them against so doiHj,, .v. o.,... iw.wvv^.^ ... , 
and dangerous ; and that, not on account of the |>ower of the 
internal evidence of the word or the work of the Spirit, but as 
if, foi-sooth, it were an atfrout to " the Church." Men are to 
be content to receive all on faith in the dictum of " the Church.** 
Their language is,* in fact. You must shut your eyes and walk 
straightforward as your ecclesiastical guide tells you, and then 
all will be right. Only be sui*e not to open your eyes and look 
where you ai*e going, for, in that case, we will not answer for 
the consequences ; for we can assure you, that some people who 
have used their eyesight, have made mistakes. And in truth, 
holding the opinions they do (which we shall notice presently) 
as to the nature of these evidences, and the state in which men 
are left, it is no wonder that such is their advice. 

But, say our opponents, what are men in general, particularly 
the illiterate, to do, who are unable to investigate the evidences 
for this truth ? I return the question, and shall probably be 


told, that the illiterate mtut believe upou the testimony of tbc 
Chureh. But, to the illiterate man, the teitimony of the Church 
is merely the testimony of the individual who hap[>enn to Ik* his 
pastor. Will any man »ay, that Hueh testimony is a fit and 
proper ground for faith ? No ; he is not left to such a fragile 
reed to lean upon. He has a tentimony to the truth that Scrip- 
ture is the word of God infinittly su)>eriur to this — I mean in 
the internal evidence which that Word brings with it of its 
divine origin in the excellent nature and effects of the revelation 
contained in it ; which, when applied to the heart by the Spirit, 
» known and felt to be the truth of God. And this testimony 
of the Holy Spirit to the written Word, given either directly, 
or indirectly through the revelation contained in it, seals it 
with an impress not to be mistaken by those to whom it ia 
vouchsafed, and without which, faith in Scripture, as the word 
of God, is a mere historical faith, altogether unprofitable to any 
saving purpose. 

I hope our opponents are not prepared to deny this, though, 
alas, of such operations of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of indi- 
viduals, we hear scarcely anything in their writings ; and I will, 
therefore, take the opportunity to call their attention to another 
passage from one of their own witnesses. Dr. Jackson. " The 
" Holy Sj[)irit who instructed the first messengers of the Gospel 
" with the true sense and knowledge of the truths therein re- 
" vealed, and furnished them with diversity of tongues to utter 
** them to the capacity of divers nations, can and doth, through- 
" out all succeeding ages, continue his gifts, whether of tongues 
" or others, whatsoever are necessary for conveying the true 
" sense and meaning of saving truth already taught, imme- 
" DiATELY to the hearts of all such, in every nation, as are not 
" for their sin judged unworthy of his society ; of all such as 
" resist not his motions to follow the lusts of the flesh. And as 
" for men altogether illiterate, that cannot read the Scriptures 
" in any tongue, we do not hold them bound (nor, indeed, are 
" any) to believe absolutely or expressly every clause or sentence 
" in the sacred canon to be the infallible oracle of God's Spirit 
" otherwise than is before expressed ; but unto the several mat- 
" ters or substance of truth contained in the principal parts 


'' tlicreof, their souls and spirits are so surely tied and fastened, 
" that they can say to their own consciences, wheresoever these 
" men that teach us these good lessons, learned the same them- 
" selves, most certain it is, that originally they came from God; 
" and by the gracious providence of that God, whose goodness 
" they so often mention, are they now come to ua. Sueb are, 
" the rules and testimonies of God's providence, the doctrines 
" or real truths of original sin, of our misery by nature, and 
" freedom by grace : such are, the articles of Christ's passiun 
** and the efiFects thereof, of the resurrection and life everlasting 
" . . , . Many other points there be, not of like necessity or con- 
" sequence, which unto men specially altogether unlearned, or 
" otherwise of less capacity, may be proposed as the iufalhble 
" oracles of God ; unto suiiit of which it it noi lawful fur them to 
*' give so absolute and firm ir rt v oet M e mtaeni m$ tkey wm*t do unto 
" the former, beetnue they emmoi di»een the truth 9/ them m 
" itself, or for itself, or with their own eyes. ajt. it u tuuMuwd. they 
" did the truth of the forwm,"^ 

AVith respect to the nature of that faith by which we believe 
Scripture to be the word of God, it is said by the Romanists, 
that it must be a divine faith, that is, one that stands on divine 
testimony ; because, in all the articles of religion, faith must 
have divine testimony to rest upon. 

Now, it is quite true, as we have already admitted, or rather 
maintained, that for any influential belief in the doctrine that 
Scripture is the word of God, we need divine testimony, namely, 
the testimony of the Spirit of God in our hearts ; but the doc- 
trine that Scripture is the word of God or a divine testimony, 
does not absolutely require a divine testimony to prove it. 

The object in view with the Romanists is, to make the testi- 
mony of the Church the ground upon which our belief of this 
truth rests. And they make use of this proposition in two 
ways ; first, to make us the humble ser>auts of " the Church" 
for a knowledge of this truth ; and also to build upon it the 
argument, that the testimony of the Church must be divine, 

* Jackson Ou the Creed, Book ii. sect. 1. c. 2. 


bcetoie otherwise we Hhould have no sufficient frround for a belief 
in this necessary truth. 

Now, it iH rcjidily juhnittod, that, lor all tlu; tnitht of nliKiou, 
we need divine testimony as the foundation for faith. Hut the 
question wliether this or that is a divine testimony, is not, 
strictly speaking, any part of our religion, but rather a prerious 
(jufstwn. The Christian religion consists in that which is 
revealed to us as such. The revelation itself includes all the 
doctrines of religion, strictly upcaking. And he who bclirves 
the revelation contained in the Scriptures, though he might 
never see the Scriptures, (the case with not a few in antient, and 
perhaps some in modem times,) is as mnch in a state of salva- 
tion, as he who enjoys the higher privilege of possessing the 
Scriptures and faith in their inspiration. 

Moreover, if it were absolutely necessary, that before we 
could believe any testimony to be divine, we must have divine 
testimony that it is so, then there could be no proof to be had 
of a divine testimony ; each one requiring another to prove it, 
and so on, ad infinHum. 

The great question for consideration with one who is investi- 
gating the evidences for what professes to be a revelation from 
God, is, whether those evidences are sufficient to prove it to be 
a divine testimony, or not. And this is a question, with which 
eveiy man has to deal, who is made acquainted in any way with 
anything that professes to be a divine testimony. He must 
seek for some rational grounds of conviction that such testimony 
is divine ; and the motives inducing him to believe that such is 
the case, ought to be such as approve themselves to the reason 
of mankind. To judge the evidences upon which the claim of 
anything to be a divine testimony rests, is the proper province 
of reason ; while, upon the revelation itself, it is exercised only 
so far as to ascertain that there is nothing directly contrary to 
its dictates ; and it accepts with humility much that may be, in 
its full proportions, infinitely above it, transcending the powers 
of human reason, as much as the Divine nature does the human. 
The resolution of the question, Upon what grounds do I believe 
anything to be a divine testimony, ^'must be fetched," says 
Bishop Stillingfleet, " from those rational evidences whereby a 


" divine testimony must be distinguished from one merely 
" human and fallible."^ 

We may here remark, however, that, even apart from the 
divine testimony vouchsafed in the work of the Holy Spirit upon 
the heart, convincing of this truth, there was oru/inaliy divine 
testimony to the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture. Por 
this doctrine follows from that of the divine mission uf our Lord, 
and the inspiration of his Apostles; and, for that doctrine, we 
have the testimony of the Father at Christ's baptism, the 
miracles wrought by our I^rd and hii Apostles, the » 
of prophecy, and the j)Ower and suceev of the Gospel ; i . 
testimonies, whether men are disposed to admit them as such, 
or not. For God bare wUtteu, we are told, to the Apostles, 
with signs and wonders, and divers miracles, and giAs of the 
Holy Ghost ; (Heb. ii. 4.) and confirmed the word with signs 
following. (Murk xvi. 20.) 

It is quite true, that this dinne testimony comes 
part only in the report of fallible men, aud so fur loses ,, i 

of its force. But still there was originally divine testimony to 
the inspiration of the Scriptures; and the report of that t> ' 
niony is an important evidence on the point to us. Bui i . 
only direct divine testimony to the point we now enjoy, is that 
of the Holy Spirit upon the heart. 

The Koniuuists, however, not satisfied with there having been 
originally divine testimony to the inspiration of Scripture, main- 
tain, that the testimony upon which ever\' man believes this 
truth, must be divine ; when, in fact, apart from the direct wit- 
ness of the Holy Spirit in the heart, no man now has more than 
a human report of such testimony. And while maintaining in 
theory this position, they are in fact making mere human teach- 
ing the ground of belief, and thereby causing the faith of their 
followers to rest on a totally insufficient foundation. 

Upon the whole, then, let us observe what is the state of the 

case in this matter. The great and important question is, 

AVhethcr the religion revealed to us in the Scrii)tures of the New 

Testament, is from God. And the great evidence in favour of 

» STii.i.i.NGruET's Orig. Sacr. ii. 8. 


the affirmative, is to be fuutid iu the excellent nature and effccta 
of that religion ; which may, even to the natural mind, and 
certuiuly will, to the spiritually rulif^htcncd mind, prijduce a 
conviction of its divine origin. The suiccre inquirer after the 
truth, therefore, to whom the gift of the Spirit is promised, ia 
not left in this matter to depend ufwju any human testimony. 
His faith is grounded upon fur better evidence, even the internal 
power of the Word, sealed in his experience with the witness of 
the Spirit to its divine origin. And this is, in fact, the very 
marrow and Nubstancc of the question of the inspiration of 
Scripture ; and all other points are, in the comparison, of but 
secondary importance. 

But this, it may be said, affects only thoae parts of Srri])iur<; 
in which the great truths of Christianity are delivered; and 
does not even here show more than the divine origin of the 
tniths so delivered ; whereas it is of importance to know, to what 
extent we have divine testimony on the subject of religion ; and 
whether the Scriptures, as they stand, proceeded from the pen 
of inspired authors. 

Now, I will not venture so to limit the operations of God's 
Spirit in the hearts of the faithful, as to admit that such is the 
case. But thus much I freely allow, that it is the duty of those 
who are capable of making the inquiry, to ascertain the evidence 
that exists upon these points. 

Here, then, comes in the question of the canon ; and we have 
already shown, that for most of the books of the New Testament 
we have, besides the internal testimony, various testimonies to 
their Apostolical origin or sanction, among which one is the 
unanimous witness of the antient records of the Church ; and 
for the other books, similar testimony, except that Patristical 
Tradition is not unanimous on the point, and consequently the 
external testimony is not so indubitably in their favour as in 
the case of the others. 

For the former, the evidence that they are the genuine 
wa-itings of the Apostles, is, we hold, such as to leave no doubt 
of the fact, in the mind of any impartial person. For the latter, 
the external evidence is not equally convincing. The burthen of 
proof must be thrown more upon the internal eWdence ; and the 


guidance of God's Holy Spirit sought to enable us to judge 
aright. For, to assert that any ecclesiastical affirmation at the 
present day can be a sufficient ground for faith in a matter in 
which the Primitive Church was divided, may obtain for a mau 
the credit of being a very bold and confident friend of " the 
Church/* but not that of a ven' wise or very trust V man. 

Such, then, we conceive to be the foundation u^ ( h we 

have to rest in this question. For the divine origin of the 
religion delivered to us in the Scriptures, in all its great and 
important features, every sincere inquirer after the truth has 
not only the internal witness of its excellence, but also divine 
testimony. The Holy Spirit works conviction within him, and 
gives him a knowledge and assurance of the truth. And I see 
not how, even without further divine assistance, when he 
couples this testimony with the evident claims of the writers of 
the Scriptures to divine guidance in their delivery of the truth, 
he can doubt of the inspiration of those parts of Scripture, at 
least, in which the great truths of Christianity are delivered. 
But, besides this, he has, for nearly the whole of the Scriptures, 
moral evidence, of the most convincing kind, of their haviiiy; 
proceeded from inspired authors. 

Here, then, is sufficient ground for luith to build upon. It is 
not resting on uncertainties. It has a foundation amply suf> 
ficient for its support ; and were it not so, it would not be faith. 

But, alas ! our opponents, to induce us, if possible, to embrace 
their notions on the subject of " Tradition," seem willing to 
leave Christianity itself without any firm foundation to rest 
upon. They are quite awai*e of the weakness of the reed upon 
which they are leaning when using Patristical Tradition for the 
purposes to which they apply it. But rather than give it up, 
they have laboured to show, that Christianity itself stands on 
no better ground, and that the Christian's faith is a mere per- 
suasion, encompassed with doubts and difficulties, such as 
results from a balance of opposing pi*obabilities ! 

" The rule of Vincent," says Mr. Newman, " is not of a 
" mathematical or demonstrative character, but moral, and re- 
" quires practical judgment and good sense to apply it 


" IIuw many FutlieiH, how many placet, how many ii 
** constitute a fulfihnent of the teat propoaed f // it, then, 
"from the mifurc of (he ctute, a condition which never can be 
'* sntistied (in fully as it miyht have been; it ailmita of varioua 
" and unequal application in varioua instances, and what degree 
" of appluriition is enouf^h intint be decided by the jiarne prin- 
'* ciplcs which guide us in the conduct of life, which determine 
" us in politics, or trade, or war, which lead um to accept revelation 
" at all, KOR wni( H wk mavk but prohadility to show at 
" AN INTELLIGENT CUEA1X)K/' (pp. 68, (K).) " We, 
" for our part, have been tauj^ht to consider, that fuith in it« 
'* dtjrree as well as conduct, must be guidrd by pntbabilities, 
*' and that donht is ever our portion in this life. We can bear 
" to confess, that other systems have their unanswerable argu- 
" mcnts in matters of detail, and that we are but striking a 
" balance between diffictdties ewistiiiy oh both sides ; that we are 
" following as the voice of God, what on the whole we have 
" reason to think such." (p. 129.) And, therefore, the Ro- 
manists, who justly think that doubt is incompatible with faith,* 
and have, consequently, very unnecessarily and unwarrantably 
invented the doctrine of infallibility to renjove it, are told, that 
they have troubled themselves ver}' unnecessarily alx)ut the 
matter, (p, 103.) And we are told, that, ''according to Eng- 
" lish principles, faith has all it needs in knowing that God is 
" our Creator and Prcsener, and that he MAY, IF IT SO 
" HAPPEN, have spoken." .... " If we are asked, how /a/M 
" differs from opinion^ we reply, in its considering his being, 
" governance, and will, as a matter oi personal interest and ini- 
*' portance to us, not in the degree of light or darkness under 
*' which it perceives these truths." . . . . " Nay, doubt may even 

" be said to be implied in a Christian's faith To re- 

'* quire such definite and clear notices of truth, is to hanker 
" after the Jewish law, a system of less mysterious information, 
" as well as less GENEROUS /c/ZM." And he says, that "Scrip- 
ture is full of instances in point." And what does the reader 
suppose is the instance he gives ? That of our Saviour himself, 
' See Placette's Incurable Scepticism of the Church of Rome, c. 1. 


who, he tells us, " scarcely once declared to inquirers that he 
" was the Christ," but *' left them to gather the great truth for 
" themselves how they could, with wbativ£B dkokeb op cer- 
" TAiNTV," &c., implying that no evidence was given tufficient 
to exclude doubt. (See the whole of pp. 103 — 5.) And a 
writer in the principal organ of our opponents, the British 
Critic, replying to the objection that the evidence for Tradition 
is insufficient to produce assurance of its truth, meets the 
objection on the ground that there is not (as he would have us 
believe) indubitable evidence for Scripture. (Brit. Crit. for 
Apiil, 183U ; p. 4G7.) And this remark is made, apparently, on 
the ground, that there are those who object to the sufficiency of 
that evidence ; just as they tell us, that Scripture must be 
obscure, because some people misinterpret it. 

And thus the Author of the 85tb Tract says, " How do we 
** knuw that the whole Bible is the word of God ? Happily, at 
** present, we are content to believe this, because we have been 
" so tuuyht. It is our great blessedness to receive it oa fuith. 
" .... It does seem to me prepoaterom to tonStm that free 
** inquiry leads to scepticism, [who eonfessea this?] and scep- 
" ticism makes one less happy than faith; and yet that such 
" free inquiry is right. H'hat i* riffki, amd wktd it kaffy^ 
" cannot, un the lung run, and oh a large seale, be disjoined^ To 
" follow truth can never be a subject of regret ; free imqtary 
" does lead a man to regret the days of his child-like faiih, [which 
" shows who it is that thinks free iiKpiiry does lead to aoc^ 
" ticistn, and therel'oi-e advises us to shut (Nir fjt%^ there- 
" fore, it is not following truth." (pp. 72, 3.) And after having 
dt'i)reeiated, as far as possible, the testimoay we have for the 
canon of Scripture, in order to make it i^pear not more than 
what we have for any of his favourite doctrines, (pp. 75 et seq.) 
and collected together " startling " passages of Scripture as a 
set-off to anything startling we may find in his traditional doc- 
trines; (pp. 86 et seq.) and, at last, concluded, that "the canon 
" of Scripture rests on no other foundation than [what he calls] 
" the catholic doctrines," and that " in both cases tee beliete 
" nuiinbj because the Church of the fourth and fifth ci;\- 
" TiRiEs unanimously believed ;" (p. 102.) feeling, of course. 

'\H OBOVNM rom bblief 

the utter weakncsti of the foundation to which he haH redurrd 
botli, boldly telU uh, that in the intercouwe between our liOrd 
and the PhatisrcM, tin* latter *' tvere hid to heliere on weak argu' 
ments ami fanciful deduct iom ;" (p. 111.) and having thun paved 
the way for his conclusion, Buma up all with the followinf^ 
observations, — " In connexion with what has been Mid, observe 
'* the singular coincidence, or rather appusitcneas, of what Scrip- 
" ture enjoins, as to going by faith in religious matters. J'/k* 
" diffintltiea which exist in t/w evidence, yire a deep meaning to 
" the exhortation. Scripture is quite aware of the difficulties. 
" Objections can be brought against its own inspiration, its 
** canonicity ; against revealed doctrines, as in the case of the 
" Jews ; against the Messiahship of Jesus Christ. It knows 
" them all; it hus provided against them by recognising them. 
'' It says * Believe,' because it knows that unless we believe 
" there is no means of divine knowledge. If we will doubt, that 
" is, if we will not allow evidence to be sufficient w hieh merely 
" results in a balance on the side of revelation ; if we will deter- 
" mine that no evidence is enough to prove revealed doctrine 
" but what is overpowering ; if we will not go by evidence in 


" LATioN, AND ONLY TWO AGAINST, we cauuot be Christian*, 
" we shall miss Christ, either in his inspired Scriptures, or in 
" his doctrines, or in his ordinances." ** Love is the parent of 
"faith. We believe in things we see not from love of them. . . . 
" Faith is reliance on the word of another ; the word of another is, 
" in itself, a faint evidence, compared with that of sight or reason. 

" // is influential only when we cannot do without it Viliy 

" should not the Church be divine ? The burden of proof 
" surely is on the other side. I will accept her doctrines, and 
" her rites, and her Bible — not one, and not the other, but all — 
" till I have clear proof that she is mistaken. It is, /feel, 
" God's will that I should do so ; and besides, I love these her 
" possessions — / love her Bible, her doctrines, and her rites, and 

" THEREFORE I BELIEVE." (pp. 112 15.) 

If this is not the ne plus ultra of enthusiasm, where can we 
find it ? And why, I would ask, may not the Pagan or Mo- 
hammedan be allowed the same answer ? I am a Pagan, because 


I love the doctrines and rites of Paganism. I am a Mobam- 
inedan, because I love the doctrines and rites of Mohammed. 
The answer is just as reasonable in their mouths, as in that of 
the Christian. That there is no influential saving belief in the 
doctrines of the Gospel, without some love of them, and there- 
fore that we need " the love of God to be shed abroad in the 
heart by the Holy Spirit/' is indeed moat true ; and thankful 
should we have been to have seen a recognition of this truth ; 
but for a man to make faith depend upon a mere feeling of love, 
and seriously to maintain, that if we came to investigate the 
evidence for our religion, and weigh the arguments /wo and con, 
we should find that there was a men balance m its favour, in the 
pruportiun of three far^ ami two Ojfam^ ; and that, too, where all 
the " lo\e'' and prepoaseasiona of the writer are professedly en- 
gaged on the side of the scale which be tells us doet but just pre- 
ponderate, is indeed a fearful specimen of recklessness in the 
support of a hypothesis. It is as if, rather than not maintain 
it, he Mould endanger the cause of Christianity itself. 

Thus, in tlieir wild zeal for Tradition, they are sapping the 
very foundations of Christianity. The doctrine which they have 
here advanced, is precisely that which is calculated to drive men 
either into Romanism, in order to find something which at least 
professes to relieve men from doubt and uncertainty, or into 

No wonder that any one should discourage men from looking 
into the evidences for religion and the inspiration of the Bible, 
who thinks that there is no better evidence than a small balance 
of probabilities for them. 

As to Mr. Newman's remark in the first of the .passages 
quoted above, that there is but probability for the existence of 
an Intelligent Creator, there are many Deists who would not 
have made it. 

And to give weight to these views, he has ventured even to 
quote Bishop Butler as giving his sanction to them. For, after 
the first of the passages given above, where he speaks of having 
" probability at most to show " for revelation, he adds, " This 
" character, indeed, of Vincent's canon, will but recommend it 
" to the disciples of the school of Butler, from its agreement 



" with the analogy of nature." I have no hesitation in saying, 
that this reference to Bishop JJutler's celebrated " Analogy " 
betrays a complete niisapprehciisioii of the nature of his argu- 
ment in that invaluable work. The l^iuhop lias there ithown 
the infidel, that, even if the evidence for Christianity were not 
such as to afford him a proof that he could consider beyond 
exception certain, still it amounts to such a degree of proba- 
bility, that he is doing unwisely in such a matter not to act 
according to its dictates; just as in many other matters he 
w ould himself reckon it unreasonable not to act upon evidence, 
which, nevertheless, he did not feel to be free from the possi- 
bility of cavil. J{ Butler not only gives no countenance 
to the notion that he sympathized in the feeling that the evi- 
dence for Christianity was open to any just cavil or reasonable 
difficulty, but clearly shows, that he had no such notion. For, 
while he invariably puts such views only into the mouths of his 
opponents, — as, for instance, " Persons who speak of the evidencf 
" of religion as doubtful, and of this supposed doubtfulness as a 
" positive argument against it, should be put upon considering" 
&c. (Pt. 2. c. 6.) ; and again, " If, upon consideration of reli- 
" gion^ the evidence of it should seem to any persons doubtful, in 
" the highest supposable degree, even this doubtful evidence 
" will, however, put them into a general state of probation," 
(lb.) — he speaks so as clearly to show, that he regarded the 
evidence for Christianity in a verj' different light. " Though," 
he says, " this proof [i. e., miracles] is real and conclusive, yet 
" it is liable to objections, and may be run up into difficulties ; 
'^ which, however, persons who are capable not only of talking 
" of, but of really seeing, are capable oi seeing through; that is, 
" not of clearing up and answering them so as to satisfy their 
" curiosity ; for of such knowledge we are not capable with 
" respect to any one thing in nature ; but capable of seeing 
" that the proof h not lost in these difficulties, or destroyed by 
" these objections." (lb.) Again, speaking of the evidence for 
Christianity from prophecy, he reminds his opponents, that 
" those persons who have thoroughly examined it, and some of 
*' them were men of the coolest tempers, greatest capacities, 
" and least liable to imputations of prejudice, insist upon it as 

rM\r SlRIPTtUK IS l\SFIR!:i>. 51 

" deter minutely co/ic/uaice." [i'l. 2. c. 7.) " 1 ar truth uf our 
" religion, like the truth of common matters, is to be judged ot' 
'' by all the evidence taken together. And unless the whole 
" series of things which may be alleged in this argument, and 
" every particular in it, can reasonably be supposed to have 
" been by accident, (for here the stress of the argument for 
" Christianity lies,) then is the truth of it proved." (lb.) 

It is difficult to conceive, how Bishop Butler's meaning could 
be 80 misapprehended as it has been by Mr. Newman. And 
one cannot but regret, for the honour of our Church, that such 
statements as we are now commenting on, should ever have 
seen the light, from the quarter from which they come. 

If Mr. Newman had coutined himself to the observation, that 
Bishop Butler had shown, that it was reasonable to act some- 
times upon evidence which, though 0|)en to some cavils, ren- 
dered anything probable, and that consequently Patristical 
Tradition was not to be despised because it was open to some 
cavils, that would have been more like a fair application of the 
Bishop's mode of reasoning. But even then the argument would 
not have been tenable. For the things which Bishop Butler is 
speaking of are the highest verities of religion. Now it migiit 
be very true, that, as it respects the great doctrines of Chris- 
tianity, doubtful evidence might be a sufficient inducement t'» 
reasonable men to act as persons convinced of their truth, and 
yet it would not follow, that the same evidence should be con- 
sidered sufficient for other matters. He who had once seen the 
tide return after ebbing, would infer the possibility of its re- 
turning again, and upon that inference might reasonably act as 
if it certainly would do so, because his life was at stake ; but if 
the utmost which the return of the tide could do would be im- 
material to him, then there would be no absurdity in his waiting 
for further evidence. 

Moreover, the two cases are altogether different. In the one 
case a religion is offered us, which it is alleged is the only guide 
to happiness in another world, and the belief of which, even if 
it should turn out not to be true, can do us no harm, but, on 
the contrary, will promote our real happiness here. We may 
reasonably act, therefore, as if it were true, even on doubtful 

E 2 

52 OMouNDs rok nr.utr 

evidence, lint, in the other case, cUtemeota arc brought to u«, 
claiming to be rc|)ortii of the oral teaching of the Apoctlea, 

whirli, while they do not prrtrnd to \h; of vital inijMjrtance, may 
be but corruptions of C'liri.sti;iiiit\ . and tlun f'lrc Ijr more or Irnii 

injuriouB to us. 

The nrguniont of l]iMh«>}) iiulier, liuhtti, if thu:^ 1 to 

uiutterH to which it was never intended to apply, 1 ^ all ita 
force. For it might be applied to anything we meet with in 
one or two of the Fathers. Such things (it might be aaid) 
being thus mentioned, there is a degree of probability that they 
had an AiK)Htolical origin, and therefore, as Bishop Hutler tells 
us, that in religious matters a degree of probability is a nufficient 
ground for us to act upon, we arc bound to act as if these state- 
ments were certainly Apostolieul. But who sees not, that such 
an application of his argument would be absurd ? 

Mr. Newman is fond of appealing to Bishop Stillingtlcet, as 
one who held his views. Let me call his attention, then, to the 
following extract from that able and truly Protestant Prelate's 

" Those evidences," says the Bishop, " whereby a divine 
" testimony may be known, must be such as may not leave 
" men's minds in suspense, but are of their own nature con- 
" vincing proofs of it ... I know it is a great dispute among 
" many, whether those things which are usually called the 
*' common motives of faith, do of their own nature only induce 
" a probable persuasion of the truth of the doctrine as proba- 
" ble which they arc joined with, or else are they sufficient for 
" the producing a firm assent to the doctrine as true 'i I grant 
" tliey are not demonstrative so as to enforce assent, for we see 
" the contrary by the experience of all ages ; but that they are 
" not sufficient foundation for an unprejudiced mind to establish 
" a firm assent upon, is a thing not easy to be granted ; chiefly 
" upon this account, that an obligation to believe doth lie upon 
" every one to whom these evidences of a divine testimony are 

" sufficiently discovered If, therefore, there be no 

" evidences given sufficient to carry the minds of men beyond 
* ' mere probability, what sin can it be in those to disbelieve, 
" who cannot be obliged to believe as true what is only dis- 


*' covered as probablf. i cuiinut, uicrri . . , -ce, how an obli- 
*' gation to believe a divine testimony is n>iiM>tent with their 
" opinion who make the utmost which any outward evidt-nces 
" can extend to, to be only the bare credibility of the doctrine 
" attested by them. / can very tveii satisfy myself with the (/round 
" and reason why the mure subtle wits of the Church of Roinf Jo 
'* assert this ; for if nothing else can be produced by alt motives of 
** faith but only a probable persuasion of the truth of Christian 
" doctrine, then here comes in the fairest pretence for the infalli- 
" bility of their Church ; for, otherwise, they tell us, we can 
" have no foundation for a divine faith ; for how can that be a 
" foundation fur divine faith which can reach no higher than a 
*' moral inducement, and beget only a probable persuasion of the 
"en.'"'' ' f Christ? But, on what aee&mU those 

" w/c ity of the Church of Rome m tie pro^ 

" posal of matters of faith, should yet content with those ofitinam 
" hypothesis taken up in probability, merefy ami of titbtenieney to 
" that most advantageous piece of the mystery of imqmty, is 
" not easy to resolve. Unless the over-fondness of some itpon 
'* the doctrine of the Schools more than of the Gospel, hath been 
" the occasion of it. For, how agreeable can that opinion 
*' be to the Gospel, which so evidently puts the most defeu- 
" sive weapons into the hands of unbelief? For, doubt- 
" less, in the judgment of any rational person a mere probable 
" persuasion of the credibility of the doctrine of Christ, 
'* where an assent to it as true is required, can never be looked 
" on as an act of faith ; for if my assent to the truth of 
" the thing be according to the strength of the arguments 
" inducing me to believe, and these arguments do only prove 
" a probability of divine testimony, my assent can be no 
" stronger than to a thing merely probable ; which is, that it 
" may be or not be true, which is not properly assent, but a 
" suspending our judgments till some convincing argument be 
" produced on either side .... I cannot conceive, that men, 
" otherwise learned and sober, should with so much confidence 
" assert, that the rational evidences of a divine testimony are 
" insufficient to ])rove a doctrine true, unless it be from lunee, 
" that they find, that, notwithstanding the strongest evidences. 


" luuiiy persons continue in unbelief. For, tay they, ' if thc«€ 
'' urgunicnts were Bcientifical and demonstrative (as they speak) 
" of the trutli of tljc doctriiH' attested by them, then all persons 
" to whom they are propounded must certainly believe.' But 
" this is very easily answered ; for we speak not of internal but 
•' outward evidence ; not of that in the subject, but of the object, 
" or more fully of the reason of the thinp;, and not the event in 
" us ; for, doubtless, there may be undoubted truth and evidence 
" in many things which some persons either cannot or will not 
" understand. If Kpicurus should contend still, that the sun 
" and stars are no bigger than they seem to be, will it hence 
" follow, that there can be no rational demonstration of the 
" contrary? Nay, if the way of demonstration be otfered him, 
" and telescopes put into his hands, yet if he be resolved to 
" maintain his credit, and therefore his opinion, and will not uae 
" the telescopes, or suspect still they are intended only to deceive 
" his sight, what possible way will there be of convincing such 
" a person, though the thing be in itself demonstrable ? Now, 
" if the strength of prejudice, or maintaining of credit, can 
" prevail so much in matters of mathematical evidence, to with- 
" hold assent, what power may we think a corrupt interest may 
" have upon the understanding, as to the arguments which 
" tend to prove the truth of that doctrine which is so repugnant 
" to that carnal interest which the heart is already devoted to ! 
" Our blessed Saviour hath himself given us so full an account 
" of the original and causes of unbelief in the persons he con- 
" versed with, that that may yield us a suflBcient answer to this 
" objection. He tells us, the ground of it was not want of 
" light, nay, there ivas light sufficient to convince any, but that 
" those to whom the light came loved darkness rather than it, 
" because their deeds were evil. John iii. 19. . . . [And he pro- 
" ceeds to refer to John v. 44., Matt. vii. 14., John v. 40.]. . . . 
" When the most convincing miracles were used, they would 
" rather attribute them to the Prince of devils than to the 
" power of God. (Matt. xi. 24.) And though our Saviour pre- 
" sently, by rational and demonstrative arguments, did prove 
" the contrary to their faces, yet we see thereby it was a reso- 
" lution not to be convinced, or yield to the truth, which was 


" the cause why they did not believe. ... It would be no difficult 
*' task to discover in all those instances wherein the unbelief of 
" men is discovered in the New Testament, that the persons 
" guilty of it did not proceed like rational men, or such as desired 
" truth, but were w holly carried away through passion, interest, 
" prejudice, disaffection, or some other cause of tbst nature, 
** which may give us a sufficitn ' '.ose persons did 

" not believe, although there v.. ^ I undoubted evi- 

'* dence to persuade them to it. But although I assert that 
" these rational evidences are sufficient argumt i " \ truth 
** of the doctrine they come to manifest, yet I \ i be so 

" understood that I thereby resolve all religion into a mere act 
" of reason and knowledge, and that no more power is required 
*' in the understandiug to believe the Gospel than to believe a 
" mathematical demonstration ; which is another objection some 
'' lay in the way of this o])iuion, but it is not difficult getting 
" over it. For, the sufficiency which I attribute to rational evi- 
*' dence is not absolute and simple, but in suu genfre as an ob- 
" jective evidence."* 

Such is the language of Bishop Stillingfleet ( i> 

and we see from it, that this doctrine of Mr. Nt\ . d 

to him to be one which admitted the fairest pretence for mtro- 
ducing the Infallibility of the Church of Rome.^ 

But, in truth, our opponents seem to think, that where there 
is indubitable evidence for an)'thing, there cannot be faith ; that, 
in a word, faith is some indescribable act of the mind by which 
its assent is giveii^upon evidence not sufficient to exclude doubt, 
and that there must be some degree of doubtfulness in the evi- 
dence to make it faith. For, Mr. Keble tells us, that " evidence 
complete in all its parts leaves no room for faith." (p. 82.) And 
again, " Perhaps had the evidence for it [i. e., the Nicene tra- 
" dition] been more overpowering, no room would have been 
" left for the requisite trial of our faith." (p. 148.) So that if a 
few persons were to tell us, that there is such a place as Rome, 
we might believe that there was, and that would be faith ; but if 

' Stillixgfleet's Origines Sacrsp, bk. ii. ch. 8. at the end. 
* Ag^n I miu>t remind the reader, how completolv Mr. Newman'^ ^al>t>e«iueiit 
course has justified tliis remark. 


the evidence was bo Btrotig in favour of there being such a place, 
that it was in reason induhitnhle that there wan, then there would 
be no room for faith. May I ask what there would be room fur '1 

I know not what faith can be but an aitNent of the mind upjri 
that rational evidence which has the effect, in the ca»c of the 
party concerned, of excluding doubt. For, it it Burely impo«- 
sible to believe a thing, and yet be doubtful about it at the name 
time. It may be difficult, and perhaps impoitKible, to decide the 
precise amount of moral evidence calculated to bring conviction 
to the mind of an individual ; but, surely, to maintain that a man 
may believe, nay is bound to believe, a thing upon evidence 
which you allow not to be sufficient to produce conviction in 
him, is beyond measure stnmge. " Doth the strength of the 
argument," says Bishop Stillitigfleet, when meeting a precisely 
similar statement from one of his Romish adversaries, " hinder 
" me at all from believing what I did not see ? I had rather 
" thought, the more obscure the object had been, the greater 
" necessity there had been of strong evidence to persuade a man 
" to believe. . . . the greatest clearness and evidence as to the testi- 
" montj is not repugnant to the nature of faith." — " We think it 
" our duty to believe firmly whatever God saith, but withal we 
" think it our duty to inquire carefully, whether God hath said 
" it or no, before we believe ; and according to the evidence we 
" have of this wc assent to the former." ^ 

I will only add (as there is no authority with our opponents 
like the Fathers) a passage from the excellent Hilary. Speaking 
of St. Paul using the words "according to* the Scriptures," 
when adverting to the death and resurrection of Christ, (1 Cor. 
XV. 3, 4,) he says, that he did it to give security for the doctrine, 
to enable us to resist objections, when Christ Jesus was under- 
stood so to die and rise again as was imntten ; — "for faith knows 
" no danger (or, uncertainty) ; and every Christian confession is 
" safe in the hidden mystery of God." 

* SxiLLrsrGFXEET's Discourse in Vindication of the Protestant Grounds of Faith, 
pp. 387—390. 

- Pia adversiis calumniam resistendi securitateproposita^ cum itamori ac resur- 
gcre Christus Jesus mtelligendus esset, qualiter scriptus est. Xon enim habet 
Jides periculum : et omnis pia professio in occulto sacrament© Dei tuta est. 
HiiAB. De Trin. Hb. x. § 67. Op. col. 1078. 

[57 ] 



It will be readily granted, I suppoBe, that, iii religion, with 
the exceptiuu of thuse truths which (as the Apostle intimates, 
Rom. i.) reason, judging t'ruiu the works of creation, may teach 
us, nothing but a divine testimony can be tufficient to bind the 
conscience to the belief of any doctrine. He divine will may, 
indeed, be made known to us in various ways, and through the 
agency of man; but all will agree I conceive in this, that 
whatever is delivered by man on the subject of religion, can have 
power over the conscience, only so far as it < ui l.e shown to have 
come originally from God. 

For, faith, as it respects the truths of religion, must have for 
its foundation a divine testimony. " Faith,'* says the Apostle, 
" comcth by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.*' (Rom. 
i. 17.) And this Bellarmine himself acknowledges, confessing, 
that " faith must have the word of God to rest upon," so that 
where there is no divine testimony, " there will be no faith." ^ 

The ground, therefore, upon which our faith must rest, as it 
concerns the truths of religion, must be some real or supposed 
word of God. In our inquiries, therefore, as to " AMiat is truth " 
in religion, we have to inquire, " What hath God said V Our 
knowledge on the subject must begin and terminate with that 

' Cvixa Jideg tiitaiHr verho Dei, uisi habcainus verbum Dei uon scriptuiii, nulla 
nobis n^t fides. Bellabm. De N't-rh. Dei, lib. iv. c. 4. I am uot here concerned 
with his reasoning in this passage, or with the application he makes of the principle. 


which wc have reason to coiiMidcr divine revelation. Faith, 
theologically considered, exprcMses an assent of the mind to a 
truth «/i //if ^roM/i(/ of its having been revealed to us by Ood.* 
It is belief in things not the objects of the senses, built upon 
that which is believed to be divine testimony ; and our evidence 
that such testimony is divine, must be satisfactory to the mind, 
otherwise our assent must be proportionably uncertain. 

Hence, as we have already observed, the divinely-revealed 
Rule of faith is our »ole Rule of faith. 

In determining, therefore, what constitutes our Hale oj j'mth, 
the great question is. From what quarter may we obtain in- 
formation as to what God has revealed to man on the subject of 
religion, sufficiently certain to bind the conscience to belief? 

For the answer to this question, it is evident that we cannot 
be guided by human authority. The Brahmin will send us to 
one set of sacred books, the Mohanmicdan to another. And the 
credentials of any person or writing, professing to deliver to us 
a divine revelation, must be judged by us upon our individual 
responsibility to God, and not taken for granted upon any human 
testimony ; and for this simple reason, that we are each of us 
responsible to God for our conduct, and cannot shift that re- 
sponsibility upon others. All, therefore, are obliged to allow 
the right and duty of private judgment upon this point to a 
certain extent. Even the Romanist himself, who begins with 
the doctrine of the infallibility of his Church, begs you to 
examine the credentials of its infallibility, and thereby grants, 
in that point at least, the right and duty of private judgment. 

Mr. Newman himself, therefore, says, " If man is in a state 
" of trial, and his trial lies in the general exercise of the wiJl, 
*' and the choice of religion is an exercise of will, and always 
" implies an act of individual judgment, it follows, that such 
" acts are in the number of those by which he is tried, and for 
" which he is to give an account hereafter. So far all parties 
" must be agreed, that, without private judgment, there is no 
" responsibility." (p. 155.) To which he adds, " Romanist, 

2 So DuKANDUS (as quoted by Bishop Pearson in his Exposition of the Creed, 
Art. 1) says, — Fides est habitus quo assentimus dictis Scripturae propter auctorita- 
tem Dei revelantis. DrKA>D. Commcut. in Lib. Sentent. lib. iii. dist. 24. q. 1. 


" I consider, agrees with Protestant so far ; the question in 
" dispute being, what are the means which are to direct our 
" choice, and what is the due manner of using them ;" — against 
which remark Mr. Newman must allow me to caution the 
reader, for the question is, what is the degree of value attaching 
to the various means we have to direct our choice, and whether, 
of those means. Scripture is not our alone divine and infallible 
informant ; and when he proceeds to tell us, that popular Pro- 
testantism would deprive us of all external means but Scripture, 
because it will not give them that place which he assigns to 
them, he is making a statement which, with impartial readers, 
can only be injurious to himself and his own cause. He knows 
well, that, to mention no others, one mean, used \ '' '!y 
by "popular Protestantism,'' is the preaching oi ', 

whom it believes to be often used by God as the instruments 
for conveying saving truth to the heart, both in the choice oi % 
religion, and after that choice is made, in the further eh<»ee 
between truth and error, as inculcated by the various teachers 
of that religion ; a choice, however, which, we contend, must be 
grounded upon that which lias rfasniif»]>le pr«^»f <»f it«. l»''ing the 
word of God. 

Now, we have already considered the gruuuds upuu which 
Holy Scripture demands our faith in it as the word of God. 
The question, then, is. Have we any other divine informant ? 
Our opponents put in a claim for what they call the Tradition 
of the Church, or Catholic Consent, i. e., the tradition delivered 
to us by certain early writers of the Chmch ; and they tell us, 
that Scripture and this Tradition form jointly the Rule of faith, 
sending us for that Tradition to the writings of the first few 

The reply is, that this Tradition (as we have akeady endea- 
voured to prove in a former chapter) is, from its nature, utterly 
untit to be reckoned a divine informant, and, therefore, can 
form no part of the Rule of faith. Prove it to be a divine in- 
formant, and we at once admit it into the Rule of faith ; but if 
it be anything less than a divine informant, it can form no part 
of that Rule. Mr. Keble may rest assured, that we not only 
" cannot," but do not wish to " hide it from ourselves, that 

60 HtHI I'TIUI" Tlir sdl I IVl VltlHir 

" God's UllWiUtcn \\i>ril, ij \\ cini i<r ;iii) now iniiiitiiticatrd, 
" iiiUMt ncccMsarily dcniuiid tlu' mime revrrciice from ux [i. p., an 
" his written word] ; and for exactly the Bamc rcanon, l>ecau$e it 
" is his word." (p. 20.) And to Ruppoite that this i» denied, 
is to tight with a shadow of his own ercatiun. inotead of 
meeting the real antagonistt. 

The " Rule of faith/' therefore, might he thu.sdetiiKd, — that it 
eoMsistM, hesides the Old T<-8tument, of all which we have rea- 
8onal)le ground of a»suraner wan delivered to the Charch by 
our Lord and his Apostles, or with their sanction and authority. 
To those who heard them, and perhapii to some other*, all 
which they delivered, as from God, came with equal authority, 
and fornxed, as a whole, the Kule of faith. And if oral tradition 
had been considered a safe conveyance for the truth, the truth 
would have been left to be so handed down to us. But such is 
not the case ; and the very fact, that the Apostles were careful to 
commit the doctrines of the Gospel to writing, shows that they 
considered them unsafe but in writing. And hence the Holy 
Scriptures are to us the sole Rule of faith, because they embrace 
all which we have reasonable ground of assurance was delivered 
to the Church by our Lord and his Apostles, or with their sanc- 
tion and authority. 

We receive the Apostolic traditions given to us in the Scrip- 
tures, because we have sufficient reason to consider them 
genuine ; we do not receive, as binding, statements pretended 
to be derived, through the tradition of the Fathers, from their 
oral teaching, because their genuineness is altogether incapable 
of proof. We do not reject them on the ground that we suspect 
the good faith of the Fathers, but because we know, that, in 
matters of doctrine, men are exceedingly liable to error in their 
representation of the opinions of others ; and also from the utter 
insufficiency and uncertainty of the documents remaining to us 
of the Antient Church, to establish anything like catholic con- 
sent ; and we may add, the insufficiency and uncertainty of the 
evidence afforded by even those that do remain, comparatively 
with what they ought to afford on the hypothesis of our oppo- 
nents ; though at the same time we do not (as our opponents 
misrepresent us) regard what the Fathers have dehvered to us 


r<- ^pecting the faitii as useless ; but, on the contrary, that, pro- 
pi rly used, it may be of considerable value. 

But, by " the Uule of faith'' we understand a taitimony which 
shows us infallibly those doctrines which we are hotmd by our 
dutij to Gud to receive ; and one which has such evidences of its 
divine origin, as make it binding upon the consciences of all 
men; and of that Rule, t' '" ' ' can form s part, 

which has not reasonable i\ g the word of God. 

And if Holy Scripture is thus the sole infallible and authori- 
tative Rule of faith, it follows, of course, that it is to its decision 
aluiie that we must appeal, as of absolute authority and infal- 
lible, in controversies concerning the faith ; and hence it is justly 
called the sole infallible JuJ4je of controversies of faith, as being 
that which alone gives an infallible testimony on the subject. 
That it cannot end controversies, forms no valid objection to this 
aj)pellatiou, for no mere testimony on the subject, however clear 
and deiinitive, could do that ; nothing in fact but a living Judge 
who has power to bilence ever)' dissentient from his sentence. 

We say, also, that Holy Scripture is the sole infallible Rule of 
faith to every individual ; because, u|)on the \ery same grounds 
upon which our opponents admit the right and duty of private 
judgment in determining between the various forms of religion 
existing in the world, do we contend for thi ' * ' ' f 

private judgment in determining between tin . s 

affixed by nominal Christians to the word of God contained in 
the Holy Scriptures. " Without private judgment," says Mr. 
Newman, " there is no responsibility ;" and to what individual 
or community among Christians, I would ask, can my respon- 
sibility to God as an individual, with what all grant to be his 
word in my hands, be transferred ? Is there anything besides 
Scripture that has power over the consciences of individuals ? 

Nor does the case of an altogether illiterate person overthrow 
the truth of this as a general rule ; which our opponents may 
perhaps see, by asking themselves what they would do in the 
case of an illiterate Mohammedan ? Would they say. You must 
give up your religion and receive ours, because we are certainly 
right ; but we cannot allow you, as a verj- illiterate man, to 


exercise your judgineiit upon the nmtter'f lie uiiglit at once 
reply, I have been told by those who, for aught I know, may 
be as good judges as you, that my religion is right ; and, there- 
fore, notwithstanding my disadvantages, I mtist make the best 
use I can of my private judgment, and pray lo God to direct me 
arif/ht ; for as there is so much difference of opinion upon this 
matter, I cannot follow one guide blindfold, any more than the 
other. And this holds e([ually for a choice between the different 
meanings given to Scripture, as for a choice between the dif- 
ferent religions existing in the world. 

And this admission of the right of private judgment, be it 
observed, does not prevent any Church from excommunicating 
one who, in the view of that Church, errs obstinately in the funda- 
mentals of the faith. They who excommunicate, and he who ad- 
heres to his error, both act on their oum respomibUitij, neither 
of them, of necessity, pretending to infallibility, either through 
the possession of Patristical Tradition, or in any other way ; but 
appealing primarily to the Scriptures, and through them to the 
great Head of the Church, as the Judge; an appeal which can 
only be decided at a future day. And when the Church becomes 
split into various parties of different sentiments, it must be left 
to the judgment of every individual to determine, as icell as he 
can, as to their tenets and rival pretensions ; a judgment which 
must be grounded upon the word of God in the Scriptures, as 
the only divine informant ; though, in forming it, he may derive 
much help from the records of the Christian Church during the 
whole of its past course, particularly in the earlier period of it ; 
while he takes care to remember the uncertainties and imper- 
fections attending all informants but Scripture. 

" If," says Dean Sherlock, " you ask, whose judgment ought 
" to take place, the judgment of the Church, or of every private 
" Christian ? I answer, The judgment of the Church of neces- 
'* sity must take place as to external government, to determine 
" what shall be professed and practised in her communion ; 
'' and no private Christian has anything to do in these matters. 
" But when the question is, What is right or wrong, true or 
" false, in what we may obey, and in what not, here every pri' 


" vate Christian who will not believe without understanding, nor 
'' follow his guides blindfold, must judge fur hvnself : and it is 
" as much as his soul is worth to judge right." ^ 

We do not, then, be it observed, rest this truth upon any sup- 
posed necessity that God must have communicated his will to 
mankind, through the medium of writing ; or that the Scripture* 
mmt, of necessity, contain this or that. Such reasoning ap- 
pears presumptuous and unfounded. We take things as we 
find them, and reason accordingly. It is not for us to determine 
what it was necessai*y for God to do, or what he might do, and 
then suppose it to have been done, but to use the reason which 
God has given us, in ascertaining what he has done ; and we 
thus find, that there is reasonable evidence that Scripture is his 
Word ; and that there is no sufficient evidence for anything else 
being his Word. 

If, then, the arguments given in the chapter on Patristical 
Tradition are a sufficient j)roof that such Tradition cannot be 
considered an unwritten Word of God, and consequently is not 
a sufficient foundation for faith to rest upon, the truth which we 
here advocate is by that admission (as far as our prcs.nt sub- 
ject is concerned) established. 

And it follows from hence. 

First, That the doctrines contained in Scripture, have an au- 
thoritative claim upon our faith, only as far as they are there 
revealed; and 

Secondly, That no doctrine has any authoritative claim upon 
our faith, that is not revealed in Scripture. 

These two corollaries we shall notice more particularly in our 
next chapter. 

And in the same way it follows, that Scripture, being our sole 
divine informant, is also our sole dimnely-revealed Rule of prac- 

But the truth for which we here contend, does not rest ou 
the arguments we have already adduced, as its sole foundation ; 
and we shall now proceed to offer to the reader some further 
considerations respecting it. 

' Sherlock's Discourse concerning a Judge of Conti\n\:-,.>^. jip. 11, 12, 


I. On its true nature and extent. 

II. The additional arguments by which it may be supported, 
with a reply to the objections by which it is assailed. 

We shall first argue the question as to Scripture being the 
sole divine Rule of faith and practice, and then show that it is 
in like manner the sole infallible JuJ(/e of controversies in re- 
lif/ion. Our remarks will more particularly refer to matters of 
faith, except where stated; these points forming the ino««t im- 
portant part of the inquiry. 

I. First, then, as to the true nature and extent ol tins truth, 
thpt Scripture is the sole divine Rule of faith and practice. 

We premise some remarks on this liead, in order to guard 
against those misconceptions, and, I may add, misrepresentations 
of our views, which are so frequently to be met with. 

Let it be observed, then, first, that it is not af&rmed by us, 
that we have, in the Holy Scriptures, every thing that our Lord 
and his Apostles uttered ; nor that what the Apostles delivered 
in writing, was of greater authority than what they delivered 
orally. It is undeniable, that we have not all that they de- 
livered. St. Paul, in his Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, 
appears to allude to information which he had given them orally, 
and which he does not state in his writings. (2 Thess. ii. 5, 6.) 
It is likely that this might have been the case in some minor 
points. Nay, it is possible, that the Apostles may have given 
to some of their converts, on some occasion, a more full and 
luminous exposition of this or that doctrine, than what we find 
in Scripture. I will even add, that it is possible, that, as there 
has been a succession of God's people from the beginning, so 
the substance, or at least a portion of such additional matter, 
may have been propagated from one to another, and have thus 
come to the children of God of our own day, commended to the 
spiritual mind by its own light ; but as far as regards any direct 
proof, or external evidence, of its Apostolical origin, utterly 
destitute of any such claim upon us ; though I should rather, 
wnth Tbeodoret,^ attribute any similarity of sentiment that has 
prevailed among the children of God on such points, to their 
having all been partakers of the influences of the same Spirit. 

* See extracts from Thkodobet, ch. 10. below. 


But this we do affirm^ that having four different accounts 
of " the Gospel of Jesus Christ," the last written for the very 
purpose of making the account complete/ and above twenty 
Epistles written by the Apostles to explain it Btiil further, to 
say that anything at all important is omitted, is to cast a foul 
libel upon that Holy Spirit by which the Apostle* were guided. 
We want no Fathers to tell us this ; notwithstanding that 
Mr. Newman cannot even believe that Scripture notices even 
the fundamentals of the faith, but on tli.^ anrliority of the 

And we add, that as there is nothing else entitled to be 
considered a divine informant, so there is nothing else that 
has authority to bind the conscience to a belief of what it 

Holy Scripture, therefore, is to ui the perfect or complete 
Rule of faith. 

We speak not of any abstract petfection, such that nothing 
could be added to it that would throw additional light upon 
the doctrines of religion ; for indeed it would not become us 
to attempt to pass any such judgment upon any revelation it 
might please God to afford us. But it is perfect in the sense 
of entireness. And of this sort of perfection only are we qua- 
lified to judge. 

In determining, therefore, whether Scripture is such a Rule, 
we are not at all concerned with the inquiry, whether this or 
that doctrine is contained there, nor even whether the truths 
there delivered are revealed plainly or obscurely ; for neither 
of these inquiries affects the solution of the question, which 
depends upon this, viz., whether Scripture is or is not our only 
divine informant. The perfection of the Rule to us, follows 
from the fact, that there is no other, nothing else that is 
entitled to the character of a divine and infallible Rule ; and 
by this, therefore, whatever it may be, we must be guided. We 
say not, that it embraces everything which God might have 
revealed, nor even all which the Apostles did actually deliver, 

> See ErsEB. Hist. Eccl. iii. 34. 
* Nkwmas's Lect. on Romanian, &c. pp. 339, 40. 


btit that it includcB all which we can know to be of divine 

Nor let our opponent* object, that it cannot be suppoiwrd, 
that any portion of what the Ajiostles delivered, could be 
allowed to perish from the remembrance of the Church ; for 
the reply is obvious, and one that is not at all flattering to 
their favourite hypothesis of the fidelity of Church-Tradition ; 
namely, that audi things have untiuestionably perished. For 
instance, where is the Church-Tradition from which wc can 
learn, what it was that withheld the ap|M^rance of " the wi< k.< il 
one ?" (2 Thess. ii. 5, 6.) Where is the Tradition which dcliven 
to us those things to which St. John alludes at the end of hii 
Gospel ? 

And this remark is a complete answer to the objection often 
made by the Romanists to Protestant views, namely, that we 
have a Rule of faith different from that of the earliest Chris- 
tians, because theirs included more than what is dehrered in 
the Scriptures; for this is equally true of the Popish Rule, 
the Romanists themselves not pretending to know some things 
which, we are assured from Scripture, were delivered by the 
Apostles to their converts. 

We do not deny, then, that there may be some particles of 
the gold of the sanctuary in the records of Christian Antiquity. 
And we subject those records to the test of Scripture, reason, 
and conscience, that we may, if possible, extract them. And 
we look to the aid of the Divine Spirit to help us in our in- 
quiries. While certainly it is our belief, that such a process 
would show, that the gold bears very, very little proportion 
to the dross ; and that, to the great majority, such a search 
would be as unprofitable as laborious. There is danger, in- 
deed, in the search to all ; for the same feelings and prejudices 
which originally caused the dross to accumulate, are still alive 
to operate in its favour, and make men often prefer it to the 
pure gold. 

Here, then, is the great difference between us and our 
opponents, that we allow men to judge of that which comes to 
them by what is called Church-Tradition, by the light of Scrip- 


ture, reason, and conscience, and do not allow it to auame 
the character of an unwritten Word of God, and so to bind 
the conscience to belief in whatever it may deliver. Our oppo- 
nents will not allow us to judge of it, but only to be judged 
by it, and submit to it as a divine testimony. 

Secondly, it is not affirmed, that thow doctnnes only are 
to be received, that are laid down in expreu term* in Scrip- 
ture, but that those are to be received, that are either delivered 
there in express terms, ur deducible by ■mtumtJjf ftwnryiifliirff, 
aj}parent to reason, from its statements. 

For instance, it is nowhere stated in express terms in Scrip- 
ture, that the Huly Spirit is God, but the doctrine of hit 
divinity follows by uece:isary consequence apparent to reftaon 
from the statements of Scripture. The same may be said of 
the doctrine of the cousubstantiality of the Son with the 

Thirdly, the grievous misrepresentations of RomaniaU and 
Oxford Tract writers compel us to add what might otherwiae 
have been thought to be unnecessary, viz., that when we speak 
of Scrii)ture as the sole authoritative Rule of faith to every 
individual, we are as far as themaeWea from ''aeeming to 
allow," or being " in the way to allow," " that that is truth to 
" each which each thinks to be truth, provided he sincerely 
" and really thinks it, that the divinity of the Bible itself is 
" the only thing that needs to be believed, and that its mean- 
" ing varies witli the individuals who receive it;"' or, again, 
from being desirous of "depriving" men of "all external 
means except the text of Holy Scripture,"- or thinking that 
" to inquire about the early Church, the consent of Fathers, 

" &c or to make the primitive writers a comment upon 

" the inspired text, are but melancholy and pernicious fol- 
" lies,"* or of " chiefly employing ourselves in assailing the 
Christian Fathers."* All these are representations which 
ultimately only recoil upon their authors, showing most forci- 
bly the inherent weakness of their cause, when they are com- 

> Nkwman's Lect. on Rom. &c. p. 35, and see pp. 291, 2. - lb. p. 156. 
■' lb. p. 192. * lb. p. 195. 

r 2 


pcllcd to attempt to make the reader believe, that the theory 
of the great body of their opponents is something very differ- 
ent from the reality, and will strongly remind those who 
know anything of the controversial writings of the Ileforma- 
tion of the Popish artifices of that period. The cause of all 
this misrepresentation is simply this, that we affirm, that 
Scripture is our only divine informant, and therefore of cournc 
esteem Scripture as much above everything el«e as that which 
is divine is above that which is human. But we do not reject as 
valueless, but on the contrary attach considerable value to, the 
writings of God's saints who lived in former times, knowing 
that, among much of all kinds, we may meet with much in 
which wc may trace the footsteps of that Divine Spirit^ whose 
gifts are bestowed at his pleasure for the edification of the 
Church ; and we look up to Him who is promised as the 
Teacher of all the children of God, to enable us to separate the 
precious from the vile, receiving all as coming from the mouth 
of fallible witnesses. 

And, lastly, in reply to eveiy question as to what we mean 
by saying that Scripture is such a Kule of faith to every indi- 
vidua!, we mean, that it is so to every individual who is con- 
scious of the existence of the Scriptures and able to become 
acquainted with them, and is of an age and a state of mind to 
be responsible to God for believing what God has revealed. 
Every such person is bound by his duty to God to ascertain, 
as far as he is able, that what he may have been previously 
taught by man is accordant with that which God has there 
revealed ; and if there appears to him to be any discordance 
between the two, to believe God's own words rather than those 
of men, seeing that he is responsible not to man but to God.^ 

1 How completely the true uses and just claims of Holy Scripture are ignored 
by our opponents, may be seen by the remark offered on this passage by one of 
them. (See Brit. Crit. for July 1842.) The statement I have made above is 
considered to be a most incorrect one. If I am speaking of the religiout, it is 
said, the child that has been brought up in the belief of, for instance, the doc- 
trine of the Trinity, and receive<l it, must have, when he comes to years of re- 
sponsibiUty, " far more intimate grounds of behef in it than a collation of Scrip- 
ture texts •" as if it was not absolutely necessary, that a rational_faith in that 


Any arguments, therefore, derived from the absurdity of 
placing the Bible in the hands of a child for him to draw out 
a system of truth from it, or from the case of those who may 
be prevented by peculiar circumstances from consulting or 
understanding the Scriptures, fall quite wide of the mark. 
Such arguments evidently prove nothing, because it is clearly 
quite a possible case, at any rate, that God should have made 
the Scriptures stich a Rule, and our only divine informant, 
and we cannot argue from our supposed consequences of such 
a state of things that God has not done so. Nor is there any 
reason why we should imagine, that the statements of either 
the Fathers, the Church, or the Pope, are an infallible Rule of 
Faith, or any part of it, because children and clowns may need 
guidance to point out the true faith in Scripture. The dis- 
advantages under which some may labour in this respect, can 
be no proof that Tradition is to be depended upon, or that 
Scripture is obscure. You will have to teach a child or a 
clown, by more or less of explanation, that things that are 
equal to the same are equal to one another ; while I suppoae 
no man will deny, that if this proposition was in the Bible aa 
a point of faith, the Bible could not be accused of obscurity, 

doctrine, in an adult, should be mpported by a oonrietioo, that it is adocteia* of 
Holy Si-ripture, ndthout which men would be left at the movy of any teaehii^ 
in which they had liappeued to be brought up. But if I am speaking of the 
irreligious, the writer caiuiot imagine, that such a person, " on first turning to 
God," " should ever dream of criticizing, imder ordiuarj' cases, th^ tystem ta 
which hefiiuU himself, or in any case putting even the shghtest confidence in 
the pritnd facie appearance which the word of an all-holy God preaenta to a 
miserable sinner like himself." As if the word of God was not addressed to 
sinners ! And so, according to this writer, the con\Tnced sinner is not to go to 
Scripture to see what God lumself has said, but resign himself to " thf tytUm 
in which he finds himself" to learn God's will from it. It is difficult to say, 
whether Scripture or reason is the most dishonoured by audi a sentiment. The 
WTitcr adds, " ANliat a strange, unreal, unpractical form of words is this mdiappy 
theory !" Alas ! how little does he perceive the insight which he thus gives 
us into his own state of mind, and his utter imconsciousness of the blessed effects 
of communhig with God in his own word, and receiving as from his mouth 
the mercifid invitations, promises, and exhortations of his word ! The " un- 
happy theory " is that wliich would feed men upon the chaff and husks of 
human systems, instead of the wheat of God's word. 

70 sciurxrur, tiii; sou; infallihle 

or be said to want Tradition to inteqirct its meaning, and \)c 
taxed with imperfection as a Rule of faith, in this point. A 
Newton may want assiHtanec, as a child, to enable him to 
understand the most simple propositions, but it follows not, 
that he is to be dictated to in mature age by one who taught 
him the alphabet. 

SSuch objections are most vain and foolish. They do not 
touch the point at issue. 

I now proceed, then, to point out — 

II. The additional arguments by which the view here taken 
may be established, with a reply to the objections by which it 
is assailed. And — 

(1) Let us observe the arguments and objections derived 
from Scripture itself on this point. 

Now, here I admit at once, that there is no passage of the 
New Testament precisely stating, that the Christian Rule of 
faith is limited to the Scriptures of the Old and New Testa- 
ment ; and for the best of all reasons, viz., that such a state- 
ment would, at that time, (i. e., during the pubhcation of the 
books of the New Testament,) have been utterly inapplicable 
to the circumstances of the infant Church, and untrue. For 
a little time there were no Scriptures of the New Testament, 
and the Scriptures which we possess were gradually written, 
and did not at once find their way into the whole Christian 
Church, and no one ever dreamed that the oral instructions of 
the Apostles were not, to those who heard them, as authori- 
tative as their writings. They among whom the Scriptures 
were originally promulgated had been themselves hearers, — that 
is, very many of them, — of our Lord and his Apostles, and, to 
them, the unwTitten word was as authoritative as the written. 
Consequently such a statement could only have been made as 
a prospective announcement, applicable only to a subsequent 
period of the Church. Was it, then, to be expected, was it, 
indeed, possible, that the Apostles should precisely fix the 
period at which, or the persons to whom, their writings would 
be the sole infallible Rule of faith, when, with the earliest 
Christians, it would evidently depend very much upon situa- 
tion and circumstances, how far this was the case ? 


But though we have uot, and were not likely to have, such 
an announcement in Scrij)ture, we have there what may an- 
swer as well, the determination of a parallel case, viz., that of 
the Jews at the time of our Lord's incarnation. We learu 
clearly from Scripture, that the Canon of the Old Testament 
was to them at that time (the divine voice being no longer 
heard among them) the sole Rule of faith ; ^nd that the tra- 
ditions of the Fathers, notwithstanding their pi-etended divine 
origin, were not worthy of being considered the Word of God. 

That the Scriptures of the Old Testament were to the Jews 
of that period the sole authoritative Rule of faith, we have, I 
conceive, very sufficient testimony in Scripture. In the para- 
ble of the rich man and Lazarus, our Lord himself evidently 
refers to them as bearing that character, when he makes Abra- 
ham reply to the rich man begging for some messenger to be 
sent to instruct his brethren on earth ; " They have Moses and 
the pro])hets, let them hear them." (Luke xvi. 29.) And still 
moi-e clearly, in his reply to the lawyer who asked him, ** Mas- 
ter, what sliall I do to inherit eternal hfe ? " " He said unto 
him. What is written in the law? How readest thou?" 
(Luke X. 25, 6.) And so in the scene of temptation in the 
wilderness, he meets the tempter at ever)' turn with the written 
word as his guide and rule. (Matt. iv. 1 — 10.) Further; to 
them and to them alone our Lord constantly appealed, in proof 
of the truth of his doctrine, as the rule of judgment. " Search 
the Scriptures." (John v. 39.) " Ye do err, not knowing the 
Scriptures." (Matt. xxii. 29.) And so far from appealing to 
or even recognising any " tradition," he (as we have seen) only 
mentions traditions in the way of rebuke. See Mark vii. 1— 
13, where the " commandment of God" and "the word of 
God" are identified with Scripture, and put in opposition to the 
" traditions" of the Pharisees, which are called without distinc- 
tion " the commandments of men." Now the authority claimed 
for these " traditions" stood upon a foundation precisely simi- 
lar to that upon which the supposed authority of the " tradi- 
tions" of the Christian Church rests. The one were said to 
have been handed down from the oral teaching of Moses, 


through the " elders," or, us we Hhould say, Kathcni. TIjc 
other are said to be derived from the oral teaehing of the 
Apostles, by a similar mode of conveyance. 

Moreover, it is evident from the whole of our Lord's teach- 
ing, that in his references to Scripture he ap[)caled to the 
conscience of individuals as the interpreter of Scripture, and 
willed them to Jlxdge of the meaning of Scripture, not by 
" tradition," or any other pretended authority, but by their 
own reason and conscience. And they alone who did so could 
receive him, for Tradition and the Church, in our opponents' 
sense of the words, were against him ; and they who followed 
these guides, stilled inquiry with the observation, " Have any 
of the rulers or Pharisees believed on him?" The dfictrine of 
those who adopted these guides, was precisely that of our op- 
ponents; and notwithstanding the warnings of reason and 
conscience, they waited till the authorities of the Church, the 
keepers of Scripture and witnesses of Tradition, should declare 
in his favour, and spoke of those who exercised the right of 
private judgment exactly as our opponents do now. And the 
consequence was, that they rejected our blessed Lord himself. 
The voice of " the Church " was altogether against him ; and 
that, with them, was conclusive. 

Still further, the Apostles refer to the Scriptures of the Old 
Testament so as evidently to show, that they recognised them 
as beai'ing this character. Observe the constant references 
made to them by St. Paul as the Rule of faith. " What saith 
the Scripture ?" (Rom. iv. 3, xi. 2 ; Gal. iv. 30.) And when 
he argued with the Jews, he " reasoned with them out of the 
Scriptures." (Acts xvii. 2.) And when pleading his cause be- 
fore Felix, he gives this summary of his creed, that he " be- 
lieved all things which are written in the Law and in the Pro- 
phets." (Acts xxiv. 14.) And the Bereans are praised by 
St. Luke for referring to the Scriptures of the Old Testament 
as their rule of judgment, by which to ti-y the preaching of 
St. Paul. (Acts xvii. 11.) 

Lastly, as a full and irrefragable testimony to this truth, 
let us mark what St. Paul says to Timothy on this subject. 


" Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned, and 
" hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned 
" them, and that from a child thou haat known the Holy 
" Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation 
" through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is 
" given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, 
" for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 
" that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished 
" unto all good works." (2 Tim. iii. 14—16.) 

We thus find, then, that though there is no direct testimony 
in the Old Testament to its perfection as the sole infallible 
Rule of faith to the Jews in the time of our Lord, such as- 
suredly it was, and that for the same reason that the Scrip- 
tures of the Old and New Testament are so to us, namely, that 
through the uncertainty of Tradition there was nothing else 
which had any sufficient evidence of its being the word of 
God. For it might have been said then of the Old Testament, 
as it is now of the New, AVhat is here written is not all that 
Moses and the prophets delivered, and therefore if we refuse 
to receive the traditions of the elders, we shall be rejecting 
part of what God has revealed, and making to ourselves a dif- 
ferent Rule of faith from what our forefathers had. But that 
the objection was worthless, is clear from the declarations of 
our Lord and his Apostles which we have just quoted. 

As, then, in the time of our Lord, the Canon of the Old Tes- 
tament was the sole Rule of faith to the Jews, notwithstand- 
ing that those who had been contemporary with the authors of 
the Old Testament Scriptures might have heard from them 
some other things of minor importance, which therefore 
entered into their Rule of faith as derived from the same source 
with the Scriptures ; so to us the Canon of Holy Scripture is 
the sole Rule of faith, notwithstanding that those who were 
coutemporar)' with the Apostles might have received from them 
some statements of minor importance, which came to them 
with an authority equal to that possessed by the Scriptures. 

And if it is the sole Rule of faith, it follows, that it is the 
sole divine Rule of practice, the Rule of faith being co-exten- 
sive with divine revelation. 


Fiuther, it is to be considered, tliat the (iospcl wa« not a 
revelation altogether new, bein^^, in all its great features at 
least, only a development of the types and prophecicn of the 
Old Testament, where the language of the inspired writers of 
the New Testament leads us to recognise a very full adumbra- 
tion of its whole doctrine. Thus, St. Paul describes himself to 
Felix as believing all things written in the law and the pro- 
phets, with a manifest reference to his Christian faith, (Acts 
xxiv. 14.), and when arguing with the Jews, he reasoned with 
them out of those Scriptures, (Acts xvii. 2.), and says, that 
the revelation of the mystery of God in the Gospel is " bij the 
" Scriptures of the projthets, according to the commandment of 
*' the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obc- 
" dicnce of faith." (Rom. xvi. 26.) ^ And the Bereans are 
praised by St. Luke ior juilyiny the doctrines preached by the 
Apostle Paul by the Scriptures of the Old Testament. (Acts 
xvii. 11.) 

Consequently, we have, even in the Old Testament, an adum- 
bratory representation of all the great truths of the Gospel. 
Are we, then, to suppose, that when besides this we have four 
different accounts of the doctrines and precepts which our Lord 
delivered while on earth, and above twenty epistles by the 
Apostles to dififerent churches, that we must still go beyond 
the Scriptures to find any important truth ? 

Be it observed, also, from the passage we have just quoted 
from St. Paul's 2d Epistle to Timothy, how perfect the Canon 

' It is supposed by "WMtby, that the Scriptures of the Prophets here men- 
tioned are the Scriptures of the Prophets of the New Testament ; and he refers 
to Eph. iii. 6. in corrt)boration of this interpretation, where it is saiil, that the 
mystery of the gospel was " not in other ages made known unto the sons of 
men, as it is now revealed mito the holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit," 
where, e\'idently, the prophets mentioned are those of the New Testament. But 
I confess, though the interpretation is possible, and would afford strong evi- 
dence in favour of the view for which we are here contending, I cannot bring 
myself to think, that such was the meaning of the Apostle, but that he rather 
had in view the prophetical Scriptures of the Old Testament, which formed the 
groundwork as it were of the preaching of the Apostles and first teachers of 
Cliristianity, as we see illustrated both in the Apostolical Scriptures and the 
Epistle of Clement. 


of the Old Testament was considered to be as a Rule both of 
faith and practice, even sufficient to render the man of God 
perfect, and throughly to furnish him to all good works. Is 
not, then, the Canon of the New Testament suMcient to sup- 
ply such information respecting the religion adumbrated in 
the Old Testament, as to render the two Testaments tuyether as 
sufficient to us as the Old was to Timothy ? 

But, to all such considerations, our opponents seem to think, 
that they have a ready answer, for they say, that Scripture 
itself is in favour of their doctrine of Tradition. I shall now, 
then, proceed to consider the passages adduced by them iu 
proof of this assertion, and show how utterly destitute of 
foundation is the argument so raised. 

This argument is insisted upon more particularly by Mr. 
Keble, whose sermon is written, indeed, for the purpose of 
enforcing it. I need hardly say, that the texts he has chosen 
in support of it are precisely those which Bellarmine' and the 
Romanists adduce for the same purpose ; and it is somewhat 
strange, that the arguments by which the applicability of these 
texts to such a purpose has been over and over again disproved 
by some of the most able divines of our Church, are entirely 
unnoticed, and the statements of Rome, even to the petitio 
principii upon which they are nearly all founded, repeated 
almost verbatim. 

The passages chiefly insisted upon are of course those in the 
Epistles to Timothy. " That good thing which was committed 
" unto thee {ti]v Kokijv -napaKaTadi^Kt^v), keep by the Holy Ghost 
" which dwelleth in us." (2 Tim. i. 14.) " The things that 
" thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same 
" commit thou to faithful men who shall be able to teach 
" others also." (2 Tim. ii. 2.) " O Timothy, keep that which 
" is committed to thy trust." (1 Tim. vi. 20.)^ 

The first of these passages forms Mr. Keble's text, and the 
first thing he endeavours to prove is, that " the good thing 

1 Beixabm. De Verb. Dei, lib. iv. c. 5. 
' See Keble's Serm. pp. 5, 22, and 49. 


left in Timotliy's charj^e" " was tin; treasure of Apostolical 
doctrines and church rules : the rules and doctrines which 
made up the charter of Christ's kingdom." (p. 20.) Now, 
that it comprised the fundamentals of the faith is at once 
granted, but as to its being " the treasure of Apostolical doc- 
trines and church rules," in the sense in which Mr. Keblc has 
afterwards explained these words, viz., that it "contained, 
" besides the substance of Christian doctrine, a certain form, 
" airangcment, selection, niethodiziny the whole, and distinyuish- 
" iny fundamentals, and also a certain system of church practice, 
" both in government , discipline, and worship ;" and was " somc- 
" thing 80 wholly sufficient, so unexceptionably accurate, as to 
*' require nothing but fidelity in its transmitters," (p. 21,) 
such a notion is a pure fiction of the imagination, utterly un- 
supported by Scripture, or by the Fathers, who speak of this 
deposit (as Mr. Keble himself admits) as meaning "the truths 
committed by St. Paul to Timothy ;" " the deposit of the/ai/A ;" 
(Jerome) " the Catholic /ai7/« ;" (Vine. Lir.).^ And this seems 
clearly to follow from the context of these passages. For in 
the first the " deposit " is mentioned immediately after the 
Apostle had exhorted Timothy, " hold fast the form of [those] 
sound words which thou hast heard of me j" and the last, with 
the context, runs thus, " Keep that which is committed to thy 
" trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings and oppositions of 
" science falsely so called ; which some professing have erred 
" concerning the faiths 

When, therefore, Mr. Keble says, " Upon the whole we may 
" assume, icith some confidence, that the good thing left in 
" Timothy's charge" was what we have above quoted from 
him, he is doing what we have but too often to lament in this 
controversy, " assuming with some confidence" what he has not 
the slightest right to assume at all, and what both Scripture 
and Fathers are opposed to ; and this interpretation, so " as- 
sumed with some confidence" and no reason, serves him after- 
wards in great stead. For, as it is evident, that we have not 
in Scripture such an " arrangement, selection, methodizing the 
' Keble's Serm. pp. 18, 19. 


" whole, and distinguishing fundamentals, and also a certain 
" system of church practice, both in government, discipline, 
" and worship," it enables him to jump to the conclusion, 
that Timothy's deposit embraced much more than we have in 
Scripture, when, judging both from Scripture and the lan- 
guage of the Fathers, the probability is, that it contained much 
less. And as Timothy was exhorted to keep it safely, so the 
more Mr. Keble can make it include, the more imperfect will 
Scripture appear to be, and the more important that Patristical 
Tradition which professes to hand this deposit down to us. 
And the great reason why Mr. Keble wants it is, that, like Bel- 
larmine, he separates the sense of Scripture from Scripture, and 
makes Scripture aud its meaning two different things, as if 
Scripture was so obscure that it could not be understood with- 
out Patristical Tradition. 

As to the precise amount, however, which it contained, we 
can safely allow Mr. Keble's imagination (which in other sub- 
jects we highly value) to have some little scope, and will will- 
ingly give him the fundamentals both of faith and worship, if 
only he will allow us to make use of our reason to consider 
how far Patristical Tradition is either wanted or to be trailed 
for conveying to us this " deposit.'' But all the speciousness 
of Mr. Keble's arguments from these and similar passages of 
Scripture, is derived from his assuming the very point in ques- 
tion, i.e., the trustwoi-thiness of Patristical Tradition, for all 
his arguments amount merely to this, that because the Apo- 
stles told their converts to recollect, and act accox-ding to, all 
which they had delivered to them by word as well as writing, 
therefore we are to believe, and act according to, all that a few 
Fathers of the Church have reported to us as derived from 
their oral teaching, or even as the doctrine of the Church in 
their time, because such doctrine must be considered the doc- 
trine of the Apostles. In a word, because the Church, in the 
Apostolic age, received as divinely- in spired the oral instruc- 
tions of the Apostles ; therefore we are to receive the Patris- 
tical report of those traditions as an infallible and divine 
informant. " The holy writings themselves intimate," says 


Mr. Keble, " that the persoriH to whom they were addrcKHcd 
" were in possession of a body of truth and duty totally distinct 
" from themselves, and independent of them." (pp. 21,2.) Of 
course they were ; and for the simple reason, that the ApustltMi 
})reached and formed a church l>efore they wrote. But wluit 
then ? " Timothy, for instance," he adds, '* a few verses after 
" the text, is enjoined to take measures for the transmission, 
" not of Holy Scripture, but of the things which he had heard of 
" St. Paul, among many witnesses." How, let me ask, could he 
transmit what in all probability he had not ? And when, in a 
subsequent page, he intimates, that because Timothy was ex- 
horted to " keep that committed to his charge," we are thereby 
warned to keep what Patristical TVaditiun has delivered to us,' 
he is unworthily assuming the very point in question. 

There is one point, however, in which I fully agree with 
him ; and that is, where, after several pages of proof, he " ven- 
tures to assume," " from the nature of the case, the incidental 
testimony of Scripture, and the direct assertions of the Fathers," 
that it was "an unioritten system" which St. Paul spoke of, when 
he " so earnestly recommended the deposit ;"^ for nothing can 
be more certain, than that the Gospel, before it was written, 
was unwritten ; and, as Mr. Keble himself tells us, " the time 
* spoken of was not the time when St. Paul was writing, but 
" when Timothy received his charge." ^ 

To sum up all, then, in one word, what Mr. Keble and the 
Romanists have got to prove, before they can in any way avail 
themselves of these passages, is, (1) that Timothy's deposit 
embraced something of importance not in Scripture ; and (2) 
that Patristical Tradition is an infallible informant as to what 
that deposit was ; which are precisely the two points " assumed 
with some confidence," with scarcely an attempt at a proof. 

Before, however, Mr. Keble attempts to prove the former of 
these two points, let me commend to his consideration the 
following passage of Tertullian, showing his opinion on the 

These passages, it seems, were quoted by some heretics in 

> Kebie's Serm. p. 49. ^ lb. p. 31. ' H). pp. 115^ ng 


Tertullian's time, to prove their traditions, — and they inferred 
from them, that there were some things which were committed 
by the Apostles to a few only of their more trustworthy con- 
verts, and not preached openly to all ; and that such was the 
deposit committed to Timothy, spoken of in these passages. 
But, says Tertullian, " What is this secret deposit, that it 
" should be reckoned as a different doctrine ? ^Vas it of 
" that charge, of which he says, * This charge I commit unto 
" thee, son Timothy ?' [1 Tim. i. 18.] Likewise of that com- 
" mandment of which he says, ' 1 charge thee in the sight 
" of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, 
" who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession, that 
" thou keep this commandment V [1 Tim. vi. 13.] But what 
" is this commandment, and what this charge ? It will be 
" seen from the context, that there is no allusion in this 
" phrase to any secret doctrine. . . . Neither, moreover, because 
" he admonishes him to * commit these things to faithful men, 
" who should be able to teach others also,' [2 Tim. ii. 2,] is 
" that to be interpreted as a proof of any hidden gospel : for 
"when he says * these things,' he speaks of those things 
" OF WHICH HE WAS THEN WRITING ; but of hidden things he 
" would have said, as of things absent, in the remembrance of 
" Timothy, not * these things,' but * those things.' " ^ 

This passage of Tertullian, then, will, I hope, somewhat 
shake Mr. Keble's " confidence " in his own interpretation of 
the text in question. 

Another of the passages brought forward by our opponents' 

' " Quot\ hoc depositum est taciturn, ut alteri doctriiue deputetur ? An illiiu 
denuntiationis, do qua ait, Hanc denuntiatioucm conunendo apud te, fill "Hmothee. 
Item illius praxvpti, dc quo ait ; Denuntio tibi ante Deum qui ^^vificat omnia, 
et Jesuui Christum qui tf status est sub Pontio Pilato bonam confessiouem, cus- 
todias pranvptum. Quod hocpneoeptum et quae denuntiatio ? Ex supra et in- 
fra seriptis iutelligetiu- non neseio quid subostemli hoc dicto de remotiore doc- 
trina . . . Sed uec quia voluit ilium hax* fidelibus hominibus demandare, qui 
idonei sint et alios dooere, id quoqxie ad argumentum occulti aUcujus Evuigelii 
interpretandum est. Nam cum dieit, ha\", de eis dieit de quibus in prseaeuti 
8cribel»at : de occultis autem, ut de absentibus apud couscieutiam, non haac, aed 
ilia dixis.sot." TERTrLL. De Pmvsor. c. 25. Op. ed. 16&4. p. 210, 211. 

* See Keble's Serm. p. 22. 

80 •CBimni tbi sole infallible 

in support of their views, ih that in 2 Thess. ii. 15. "Therefore, 
" brethren, stand fast, and liold the traditions which ye have 
" been taught, whether by word or our epistle." And I will 
venture to say, that, beyond the occurrence of the word " tradi- 
tions" in it, there is not a pretext for so applying it. The 
Epistles to the Thcasalonians, we must observe, were, with the 
exception possibly of St. Matthew's Gospel, the first written of 
all the books of the New Testament. And St. Matthew's 
Gospel was written more especially, in the first instance, for 
the use of the Jewish converts. Consequently the Thessa- 
lonians had, at the time when these Epistles were addressed to 
them, no other books of the New Testament. And of thit 
Mr. Kcble is fully conscious ; for he says, when mentioning 
this text, " They could not be exhorted to hold the Christian 
" Scriptures, since at that time, in all probability, no Chris- 
" tian Scriptures yet existed, except perhaps St. Matthew's 
" Gospel." (p. 22.) Much, therefore, at least, that we learn 
from the Scriptures, must have been communicated orally to 
the Thessalonians by the Apostle ; as, for instance, the ordi- 
nances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. They had no 
Scriptures professing to give them an account of our Lord's 
Gospel. And these were traditions which they had themselves 
received from the mouth of the Apostle himself. And who 
denies, that the oral teaching of the Apostles was of equal 
authority with their writings ? So that the argument from 
this passage runs thus, — Because the Thessalonians, when 
destitute of the Scriptures, were exhorted by the Apostles to 
observe all things that he had himself delivered to them, either 
orally or by letter, therefore we, possessing the Scriptures, 
are to conclude, that there are important points of Apostolical 
teaching not delivered to us anj^here in all the various books 
of the New Testament, and are bound to receive Patristical 
Tradition as an infallible informant on such points. Now the 
chief question at issue is, whether we have that oral teaching, 
in any shape in which we can depend upon it, in the writings 
of the Fathers. And yet, in a subsequent page (p. 47), Mr. 
Keble applies this passage to the present day, as coolly and 


unhesitatingly as if we were precisoiy in the situation of 
the Thessalonians, and had been ourselves hearers of the 
Apostles, and received from them instructions not contained 
in Scripture. 

To make this passage at aU suitable to their purpose, they 
must show, that there was something important in the oral 
teaching of the Apostles, which is not to be found in any of the 
books of the New Testament ; a notion, against which we can 
array the whole body of the Fathers ; (of which it is apparent 
from Mr. Newman's thirteenth Lecture that our opponents 
are fully conscious ; although they attempt to get over the 
difficulty, by asserting, that, though all things essential are 
there, yet they are there so latently, that we cannot find them, 
until Patristical Tradition has pointed them out ;) or at least 
they must prove, that the Patristical report we possess of the 
oral traditions of the Apostles, is an informant sufficiently 
cei tain to bind the conscience to belief. 

The same answer will suffice for a similar passage in a 
subsequent part of the Epistle, viz., 2 Thess. iii. 6. 

Mr. Keble proceeds to cite two other passages in support of 
his view. 

" Much later,'* he says, " we find St. Peter declaring to the 
" whole body of Oriental Christians, that in neither of his 
" Epistles did he profess to reveal to them any new truth or 
" duty, but to ' stir up their minds, by way of remembrance 
" of the commandment of the Apostles of the Lord and 
" Saviour.' (2 Pet. iii. 1.) St. John refers believers for a 
" standard of doctrine, to the word which they had heard 
" from the beginning, (1 John ii. 24,) and intimates, that it 
" was sufficient for their Christian communion, if that word 
" abode in them. If the word, the commandment, the tradi- 
" tion, which the latest of these holy writers severally com- 
" mend in these and similar passages, meant only or chiefly 
" the Scriptures before written, would there not appear a 
" more significant mention of those Scriptures : something 
" nearer the tone of our own divines, when they are delivering 
" precepts on the Rule of faith ? As it is, the phraseology of 



" the Epistles exactly cvicurs with what we should be led to 
" expect ; that the Church would be already in possetwion of 
" the substance of saving truth, in a sufficiently syitttMnatie 
" form, by the sole teaching of the Apostles." (pp. 22, 23.) 

I have given the passage in full, to show the reader pre- 
cisely Mr. Keblc's mode of reasoning upon these texts; and 
one is almost tempted to ask. Can the writer be serious ia 
making these observations, or is he sarcastically showing how 
utterly destitute of evidence is the cause he professes to de- 
fend ? St. Veter and St. John (says Mr. Keble) refer Chris- 
tians of their age to the commandments and instructions which 
they had received orally from the Apostles, and did not say 
to them, directly one or two books of Scripture had been writ- 
ten, (which they might or might not possess,) you must for- 
get all which the Apostles told you, and be careful to believe 
nothing but what you find written in one or two books which 
have been published by the Apostles, which you must get if 
you can ; and therefore we, who have all the books of the New 
Testament, including four accounts of the Gospel, who have 
never had any instructions from the Apostles, and are at 
the distance of eighteen centuries from them, are to take the 
Patristical report of their oral traditions as binding our con- 
sciences to belief. Such an argument, I must say, carries with 
it much more than its own refutation. 

There remain a few other passages, which are sometimes 
adduced by the Romanists on this subject, which it may be 
well to notice before we pass on ; but they are precisely 
similar in character to that given above from the Epistle to 
the Thessalonians, and need no other explanation than what 
has been given for that. Thus, the Apostle says to the Corin- 
thians, '' I praise you brethren, that ye remember me in all 
" things, and keep the ordinances, [irapaSoVeis, traditions] as I 
" delivered them to you." (1 Cor. xi. 2.) Well ; what were 
these traditions ? Were they anything more than what we 
have in Scripture ; and if they did include more, where is the 
informant who will certify us of them ? Resolve these two 
questions, and then proceed to apply the passage accordingly ; 
but until these questions are satisfactorily resolved, the passage 


will prove no more than that the Corinthians did right in fol- 
lowing the precepts which the Apostle had given them, which 
nobody doubts. And we may observe, that the Apostle has 
told us, in a subsequent part of the same chapter, what one 
of these traditions was, viz., the institution of the Lord's 
Supper (See ver. 23 et seq.) ; and thus we see, that the only 
one of these traditions which is mentioned, we have (as we 
might expect) in the Scriptures of the Evangelists. 

Again, the Apostle says, " If any man seem to be conten- 
tious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God." 
(lb. ver. 16.) Now, to make this observation practically 
applicable to our times, we must have satisfactory evidence, 
what the customs of the Church when under the 8U|>erin- 
tendence of the Apostles were; and to make these custom* 
binding upon the Church of our day, we must know, that 
they were intended to be binding upon subsequent ages. 
I suspect, therefore, that the utmost we shall be able to 
get from the passage, (and certainly an imjiortant and use- 
ful admonition, and one which it were to be wished had 
been more attended to by many,) is, that the peace of the 
Church ought not to be disturbed by individuals for the 
sake of their private fancies, in matters of external order 
not involving anything unlawful ; but that the custom of 
" the churches of God " ought to be followed. 

Moreover, the Apostle, further on in the same chapter, says, 
" The rest will I set in order when I come," (v. 34.) so that 
he might have given some directions which we do not find in 
his Epistle ; and, of course, it is most conveniently assumed, 
that these unwritten directions comprised a great deal of im- 
portant matter respecting ordination and the sacraments, to be 
met with nowhere in Scripture, " neither," says Bellarmine, 
" can the heretics prove the contrary." This closing challenge 
to us to prove the contrary, is certainly somewhat amusing ; 
but the learned controversialist should have recollected, that 
it is a two-edged weapon, for we can just as well shape out 
St. Paul's " ordering " to our liking, and say that it had 
reference only to some minor points, and then add, " neither 

G 2 


can the Romanists prove the contrary/' and then the balance 
will be even; nay, I think it will incline in our favour, for 
the burthen of proof docs rest upon those who assert, that it 
had reference to important points not mentioned in any part 
of the New Testament, and a still further and equally weighty 
burthen of proof in behalf of the preservation of those direc- 

Lastly, St. John says, " Having many things to write unto 
" you, I would not write with paper and ink ; but I trust to 
" come unto you, and speak face to face." (2 John 12, and 
similarly, 3 John 13 — 14.) " Hence/* says Bellarmine, 
" many things were spoken by the Apostle which are not 
written/* No doubt there were ; and when any one can certify 
us what they were, we arc ready to receive them with rever- 
ence and delight. 

These, as far as I am aware, are all the texts usually pro- 
duced in Support of the views of our opponents, and certainly 
they are all that need any answer. 

With respect, then, to all these passages, I would commend 
to Mr. Keble*8 and the reader's perusal, the passage \iith 
which the former has himself supplied us from Bishop Taylor ; 
of whom, notwithstanding all that he has written against such 
notions, Mr. Keble would fain make us believe, that he was on 
his side of the question. 

" Because," says the bishop, " the books of Scripture were 
" not all written at once, nor at once communicated, nor at 
" once received ; therefore the churches of God, at first, were 
" forced to trust their memories, and to try the doctrines by 
" appealing to the memories of others, i. e., to the consenting 
" report and faith delivered and preached to other churches, 
" especially the chiefest, where the memory of the Apostles was 
" recent and permanent. The mysteriousness of Christ's 
" priesthood, the perfection of his sacrifice, and the unity of 
" it, Christ's advocation and intercession for us in heaven, 
" might very well be accounted traditions before St. Paul's 
" Epistle to the Hebrews was admitted for canonical ; but now 
* they are written truths, and if they had not been writ- 



" this way could not long be necessary, and could not loxo 

" BE SAFE."^ 

This is precisely that for which we contend, that though, in 
the Apostolic age, before the Scriptures were written or in 
circulation in the Church, and where men had been instructed 
by the oral teaching of the Apostles themselves, or their im- 
mediate disciples under the sanction of the Apostles, those 
oral instructions connected with the Scriptures of the Old 
Testament, and what Scriptures of the New were accessible, 
formed the Rule of faith, yet that the mode of conveying those 
oral instructions, through a successional deliver)' by fallible 
men, " could not long be safe." We are not obliged precisely 
to fix the time when, or the persons to whom, this observation 
first applied. Circumstances might render it applicable in 
some cases earlier than in others. All with which we are 
practically concerned is our own case; and, with resjMJct to 
that, we contend, that we are left utterly destitute of any 
Bufiicient evidence to substantiate to us any doctrine or state- 
ment of the Apostles but what we find in Scripture. We are 
removed eighteen centuries from them, and for the traditions 
of the first three centuries, we have but the scanty, mutilated, 
and probably in some respects corrupted, remains of some 
dozen writers, united with some notoriously spurious liturgies. 
Where, then, I would ask, are the materials from which to 
extract any thing that could be received as the catholic consent 
of that period ? Nay, the earliest Fathers themselves did not 
(as we have seen) plead even the consent of the principal 
churches in proof of anything but a few of the primary and 
most elementary principles of the faith. Tradition, therefore, 
was not even then appealed to as it is by our opponents nou?, 
sixteen centuries later. 

Let us now proceed to notice, 

(2) The arguments and objections which may be derived 
from the nature and character of the Scriptures of the New 
Testament as it respects the object for which they were written. 
> Jeb. TATiiOa's Works, x. 425. (Keble's Serm. p. 118.) 


Oil thiii head the. llotnuiii»ts have much to urge, showing, 
as they think, that the Scriptures were never intended to form 
the Ruk' of faith. Thus, Bellarmine says, that if the Apo»tles 
had designed to commit their doctrine to writing, they would 
have composed a catechism or some similar hook ; hut they 
either wrote a history, as the Evangelists, or Epistles, as (X,'ca- 
sion offered, as Peter, Paul, James, Jude, and John, and in 
them treated of doctrine only incidentally.* 

What may be the precise view taken by our opponents on 
this point, I feci it difficult exactly to determine ; for while 
they seem to wish it to be thought, that they do not sympa- 
thize with the views of the llomanists on this point, the dif- 
ference seems to me to be more apparent than real, and the 
appearance of it to arise from their misconception of the real 
sentiments of the Romanists. Nay, more, when Mr. Newman 
sums up the objections of the Romanists on this ground, he 
mentions, among them, several which, though he here attri- 
butes them to others, from whom he would have us suppose 
that he differs, he has himself in other parts of the same work 
distinctly maintained. There is, indeed, in the language used 
by our opponents on this whole subject, a most extraordinary 
degree of confusion and inconsistency, arising from a desire 
to draw a distinction between their views and those of the 
Romanists which does not exist. 

Mr. Newman says, " They [i. e. the Romanists] observe, it 
" [the New Testament] is but an incomplete document on the 
" very face of it. There is no harmony or consistency in its 
" parts. [Do the Romanists maintain this ?] There is no 
" code of commandments, no list of fundamentals. It com- 
" prises four lives of Christ, written for different portions of 
" the Church, and not tending to make up one whole. Then 
" follow epistles written to particular Churches on particular 
" occasions, and preserved (as far as there can be accident in 
" the world) accidentally. Some books, as the Epistle to the 
" Laodicean s, are altogether lost ; others are preserved only in 
" a translation, as perhaps the Gospel of St. Matthew, and the 
' Beliabm. Dc Verb. Dei, lib. 4. c. 4. 


" Epistle to the Hebrews ; some delivered down with barely 
" sufficient evidence for their genuineness, as the second Epistle 
" of St. Peter. Nor were they generally received as one volume 
*' till the fourth century. These are disproofs, it may be said, 
" of any intention, either in the course of Providence, or in 
" the writers, that the very books of Scripture, though in- 
" spired, should be t/te Canon of faith, that is, that they should 
" bound and complete it. AIbo, the oflSce of the Church, as 
" the * keeper of Holy Writ,' seems to make it probable, that 
" she was intended to interpret, perhaps to supply, what Scrip- 
" ture left irregular and incomplete. On the other hand, the 
" circumstance that religious truths can be conveyed by ordi- 
" nances, or by catholic tradition, as well as by writing, seems 
" an intimation, that there is such a second Rule of Faith, 
" equally authoritative and binding with Scripture itself.'* 

Now, 1 feel obliged to ask, whether some, at least, of these 
objections do not represent Mr. Newman's own views as let 
forth in the same work ? And does he not distinctly advocate 
the conclusion, that Scripture is not " the Canon of faith ?" 
Hear his own words in a preceding i)age. " The phrase ' Ride 
" of faith,' which is now commonly taken to mean the Bible by 
" itself, would seem, in the judgment of the English Church, 
" properly to belong to the Bible and Catholic Tradition taken 
" together. T/iese two together make up a joint Rule." (p. 327.) 
And as we have already shown, the view advocated by him and 
Mr. Keble, is, that the two make a joint Rule in the necessary 
points of faith, and in some others Tradition forms the Rule 
by itself, i. e. is, in fact, " a second Rule of faith," and one 
" equally authoritative and binding with Scripture itself;" for, 
as Mr. Keble tells us, " the unwritten word, if it can be any 
" how authenticated, [and the supposition is, that it can,] must 
" necessarily demand the same reverence from us [i. e. as the 
" written Word]." (p. 26.) 

Turn we now, however, (for we should be sorry that any 
part of the case should be kept back,) to p. 346, and there, to 
our utter amazement, we find, in reply to these statements 

88 liCRirruRB the sole infallible 

of the RunianistH, a professed defence of the truth, that Scrip- 
ture is " the sole Canon of our faith." 

Here, then, Mr. Newman has, in his desire to appear op- 
posed to the Romanists, directly and in terms contradicted 

But he proceeds to prove this; and his first prwjf, that 
Scripture is " the sole Canon of our faith," is derived from 
three " peculiarities" distinguishing it from the *' unwritten 
word" of the Apostles. First, that " the New Testament is 
commonly called a testament or will," and that " Testa- 
meats are necessarily written" which is about as unfortunate 
a remark as any we have yet had to notice. Has Mr. 
Newman, then, never heard of a nuncupative will ? But if he 
had observed, that nuncupative wills had always been found 
liable to many frauds and impositions, and therefore that it was 
likely that such a w ill should be, through God's mercy, written, 
in order to guard against such frauds and impositions, there 
would have been much force in the remark. His conclusion 
from this, however, is as follows, — that, " granting Tradition 
'* and Scripture to come from the Apostles, it does not there- 
" fore follow, tliat their written word was not, under God's 
*' over-ruling guidance, designed for a. particular purpose, for 
" w hich their word unwritten was not designed ;" (p. 346 ;) 
which seems to me a conclusion which falls far short of the 
premises, when it is asserted, that Testaments must necessarily 
be written ; for it might be supposed from that, not merely 
that the written word was designed to serve a "particular pur- 
pose," for which the word unwritten was not designed, but 
that it was absolutely the sole and whole Rule of faith. 

The second peculiarity is, that Scripture only is inspired, 
that is as to the words, while Tradition is only so as to its 
substance, (pp. 346, 7; and see Mr. Keble, p. 107.) The "third 
peculiarity" is, that "Scripture alone contains what remains 
to us of our Lord's teaching." (p. 347.) 

On the ground, then, of these three peculiarities, it is con- 
tended, that Scripture is " the sole Canon of our faith ; " while 
it is at the same time impressed upon us, that the phrase 


" Rule of faith'* belongs to " the Bible and Catholic Tradition 
taken together." 

In the succeeding Lecture (the 13th), the same orthodoxy, 
in terms not in seruse, is retained ; and we there see clearly the 
reason, namely, the consciousness that the Fathers refer to 
Scripture as the Rule of faith. 

Referring to the preceding Lecture, Mr. Newman says, that 
it w^as " intended to show, how far there is a presumption, 
" that Scripture is what is commonly called * the Rule of 
" faith,' independently of the testiinunij of the Fathers, which 
" is the direct and sufficient proof of it ;" (p. 369.) and there- 
fore we might suppose a " direct and sufficient proof," that it 
was not made up of Scinpture and Tradition taken together. 
And this is so evident a deduction, that " before proceeding to 
the Fathers," it was very necessary for Mr. Newman to tell us, 
what was " the point to be proved," lest we should think, that 
their language proved much more than he would be willing to 
allow. The " point to be proved," then, is this, " that Holy 
" Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation ; that is, 
" either as being read therein, or deducible therefrom ; not 
" that Scripture is the only ground of the faUh, or ordinarily 
" the guide into it and teacher of it, or the source of all reliyious 
" truth whatever, or the systematizer of it, or the instrument 
*' of unfolding, illustrating, enforcing, and applying it ; but 
" that it is the document of ultimate appeal in controversy, 
" and the touchstone of all doctrine [i. e., the document of 
" appeal and touchstone, not to individuals, but to the Church, 
" and who form the Church, and how you are to get the 
" decision of the Church, he cannot tell us]. AVe differ, then, 
" from the Romanist in this, not in denying that Tradition is 
" valuable, [mark the misrepresentation implied in this word,] 
" but in maintaining, that by itself, and without Scripture 
" warrant, it does not convey to us any article necessary to sal- 
" vation ; in other words, that it is not a Rule distinct and 
" co-ordinate, but subordinate and miuistrative." (pp. 3G9, 

So that, though Scripture is " the Rule of faith," it is not 


" the only ground of the faith ;" no ; for Tradition is part of 

the ground, even in fundamental points : nor " the source of 
all reliyious trnth whatever" for other points to be believed, 
that is, other points oi faith, are to be derived from Tradition. 
But Scripture " contains all things necessary to salvation," a 
confession forced by the sixth Article, but explained away by 
supposing, that it contains them so obscurely, that we cannot 
find them, except the unwritten word asMures us that they are 
there, and so imperfectly, that we need Tradition to give us a 
complete representation of them. And as Scripture contains 
all such points, it is necessary to allow, that in such points 
there must be some Scripture warrant, while it is at the same 
time maintained, that Tradition delivers them to us much 
better; for, as Mr. Keble tells us, for the full doctrines of the 
Trinity, Incarnation, &c., we are indebted to Tradition. 

And this is called, dijferiny from the Romanists, a mistake 
which we have already pointed out. And the evident contra- 
diction in these statements is attempted to be got over, by 
saying, that Tradition is " not a Rule distinct and co-ordinate, 
but subordinate and ministrative," a mere juggle of words ; 
for if Tradition is an unwritten word of God, and conveys to 
us with certainty the full revelation of the truths which are 
but indistinctly revealed in Scripture, (as both Mr. Newman 
and Mr. Keble contend,) it i-s- a nile " distinct and co-ordinate," 
whether they choose to call it so or not ; and it is a mere 
mystification of the subject, to draw these verbal but unreal 
distinctions, and one calculated only to deceive and mislead 
the reader. Nay more, upon this hypothesis, viz. that Tra- 
dition conveys to ns the full doctrines of the faith, and that 
the Scriptural " notices" of them are only to be understood as 
explained and amplified by Tradition, it is Scripture that is 
" subordinate and ministrative" to Tradition, and not Tradi- 
tion to Scripture. 

The same sort of explanation is often ofiered by the Ro- 
manists in defence of their statements on this subject, as for 
instance was done by Gother. But what says Dean Sherlock 
to it ? " We do not," he says, " charge them with denying in 


" express words the authority of the Scripture to be a Rule, 
" but with saying that which is equivalent to it, That the sense 
" of it is so various and uncertain, that no man can be sure of the 
" true meaniny of it, in the most necessary and fundamental 
*' articles of the faith, but by the interpretation and authority of 
" the Church, which does effectually divest it of the authority of 
" a Rule, for that is my Rule which can and mwit direct me; 
" which, it seems, is not the Scripture considered in itselp, but 
" as interpreted by the authority of the Church, which makes 


" Scriptures, my immediate rule." ^ 

But these terms serve to hide (I use the words in no offen- 
sive sense) the confusion, inconsistency, and self-contradiction 
which pervade the works of our opponents on this point. 
Indeed, Mr. Newman candidly coDfesses, that he can give no 
reason why the Fathers, taking his view of Tradition, as he 
takes it for granted they did, did not make it an independent in- 
formant even in important matters of faith, but he ingenuously 
confesses, that they did not, and therefore that we must not, 
(pp. 342, 3,) but must be " content to accept the canonicity of 
" Scripture [a phrase most strangely used by him to mean 
" that Scripture is the Canon of the faith] on faith," (p. 343,) 
i. e. faith in Patristical Tradition ; and so he cuts the knot by 
calling it " subordinate and ministrative," while he can give 
no reason why it should not be called, according to his view 
of it, " distinct and co-ordinate," except that the Fathers did 
not do 80, — a tolerably good proof, that he and the Fathers 
did not take the same view of it. 

Such is the labyrinth of confusion into which Mr. Newman 
has thrown himself, that he contradicts himself over and over 
again within a few pages. Thus, speaking of the " consent of 
Fathers" on this point, he says, "If any but the Scripture had 
" pretensions to be an oracle of faith, would not the first suc- 
" cessors of the Apostles be that oracle ? must not they, if 
" any, have possessed the authoritative traditions of the Apo- 
" sties ?" (p. 340,) and he tells us, that " the tradition of the 
> Sh£B10CS.'s a Papist uot luLa-eprcscuted, &c. p. 19. 


Fathers" " witnesses, not only that Scripture is the record, 
but that it is the sole record, of saving truth," (p. 312) ; and 
then, in the very next page, he says, " It may be asked, if 
" Scripture be, as has been above represented, hut the docu- 
** inent of appeal, and Catholic Tradition the authoritative 
" teacher of Christians, how is it," &c. (p. 313.) So that 
after an express intimation that Scripture is the alone oracle of 
faith, and that the early Fathers did not possess the authori- 
tative traditions of the Apostles, and that Scripture is the sole 
record of saving truth,— confessions wrung from him by the 
testimony of the Fathers, — we suddenly find ourselves called 
upon to hold, that Scripture is but the document of ap])eal, 
and Catholic Tradition the authoritative teacher of Christians. 

All this inconsistency arises from Mr. Newman having 
adopted the principles of Romanism on this point, while he 
wishes nevertheless to make it appear, (even perhaps to him- 
self,) that there is some diflfercnce between him and the Ro- 
manists, and therefore he takes refuge in a labyrinth of words, 
through which having led his readers backwards and forwards, 
he brings them out at last (many of them quite unconsciously) 
to the very standard of Romanism from which they started.^ 

The same remark applies to Mr. Kcble and Dr. Pusey. 
Thus, the fonner, while he tells us distinctly, in one part, that 
Scripture and Tradition make up together the Rule of faith 
(p. 82), in another speaks of " resen ing the claim of Scripture 
to be sole and paramount as a Rule of faith." (p. 31.) "With 
respect to the latter, notwithstanding the distinctions he has 
attempted to draw in his " Letter" between his views and 
those of the Romanists, it is only necessary to compare the 
remarks he has there made with the extract given from him 
above,- to see that the distinctions are but verbal and not 

1 The events that have happened since the above remarks were written, and 
the hght that has been thrown upon Mr. Newman's state of mind at that period 
by his own admissions, will now perhaps show the justice of those remarks to 
some who may formerly have doubted of it, and lead them to take a more cor- 
rect view of the real nature of the Tractarian system. 

2 See above, vol. i. pp. 35 — 38. 


real, being precisely the same as those of Mr. Newman, just 

I should also remark here, that another means adopted by 
our opponents to get over their difficulties on this point, is by 
tacitly limiting the meaning of the word " faith" to the neces- 
sary faith, or that which is necessary to be believed in order to 
salvation. Thus, Dr. Pusey tells us, that " the doctrines of 
" the creeds only are articles of faith, on, * necessary to be 
"believed in order to salvation;'" and consequently, when 
Scripture is called the Rule of faith, or "the sole authoritative 
source of the faith," it means, of " things to be believed in 
order to salvation ;"^ and consequently there is left a very 
goodly portion of things which are not "articles of faith," but, 
nevertheless, are (as by a very nice distinction he afterwards 
calls them) " subjects of belief," to fall to the lot of Tradition 
only ; nay, it would appear from the above language, that all 
but the articles in the Creeds belong to Tradition ; and, with 
respect to those articles, the Creeds are the authoritative inter- 
preter of Scripture; so that how iimcli is l»ff to S<ripture, 
the reader may easily judge. 

What may be the opinion of the reader as to this attempt 
to mystify him, by this use of words in a peculiar sense, I 
know not ; but to me it appears to savour very much of disin- 

Does Dr. Pusey mean to say, that all the doctrines which 
God has in any manner revealed to us, are not " articles of 
faith?" "What, then, does he mean hy faith, or who autho- 
rized him to limit the word faith to the fundamentals of the 
faith, or to say that the whole faith is comprised in "the 
Creed ? " Not, certainly, the Word of God. It is quite true, 
that the phrases " the faith," " the Rule of faith," are some- 
times used by the Fathers to signify the principal articles of 
faith ; and that modern theologians have used the phrase " the 
faith" in the same technical sense. But Dr. Pusey knows 
well, that this is no defence for one who denies that any but 
these articles are articles of faith ; which can only be true, on 
the supposition either that God has spoken nothing but these, 
» Dr. PrsKT's Lett, to Bp. of Oxfoi-d, pp. 27—30. 


or that the other parts of God's word are not oVjjects of faith. 
Whatever religious trutlj God has delivered to u«, is an article 
of faith ; and whenever Dr. I'usey shall prove, that we have, ia 
Fatristical Traditions, that which is in substance the Word of 
God, it will follow, that the religious truths so delivered arc 
articles of faith, as much as any truths of a similar kind 
delivered in Scripture. But here is the advantage to his cause, 
in using such phraseology, that by thus limiting the meaning 
of the word fnith, he can make use of orthodox language, and 
call the Scriptures, in some sense, the Rule of faith ; while he 
retains views utterly opposed to what he seems to admit. 

As long as our opponents contend, that Tradition is in sub- 
stance an unwritten Word of God, a divine informant, and 
must be joined with Scripture to make up the Rule of faith, 
as giving the full revelation of truths but obscurely revealed in 
Scripture, and delivers with certainty Apostolical dixitrines 
not in Scripture, it is utterly useless for them to pretend to 
draw any real distinction between their views and those of the 
Romanists ; and the attempt will only involve them in incon- 
sistencies and self-contradictions; though, of course, on account 
of these self-contradictions, they may be as much disowned by 
the Romanists as by Protestants. 

Upon the whole, then, the view taken by our opponents 
seems to be this ; that though the Rule of faith is made up of 
Scripture and Tradition taken together, yet that, as Scripture 
contains the necessary points of faith, that is to say, obscure 
and imperfect notices of them, (for this is all which they, in 
fact, allow,) therefore, taking the word faith to mean the neces- 
sary faith, Scripture may be called, in some sense, the Rule of 

It is quite evident, however, that, in all this management 
and straining of the sense of words, there is some object to be 
gained, in showing how the phrase, Rule of faith, may some- 
how or other, consistently with their views, be applied to 
Scripture; and that object is, an appearance of agreement 
with the Fathers, who do so call it. And Mr. Newman can- 
didly confesses, that they so apply this phrase, not on any 
grounds of reason, (for according to their views it is not so ap- 


plicable,) but because there is a " consent of Fathers" that such 
is the case ; ^ (as no doubt there is ;) and the reason why they 
object to the representations of the Romanists as to the im- 
perfect structure of the New Testament for a Rule of faith is, 
not from their thinking the observations inapplicable in the 
abstract, but because they think it undesirable to do more than 
just receive the representations of the Fathers on the point, 
and rest satisfied with them without going further ; though 
indeed they themselves do this only as to the letter and not 
as to the spirit. And they seem to be as fearful here as they 
were with respect to the evidences for the inspiration of the 
New Testament, that if you do but exercise your reason in 
order to judge of any part of the foundation upon which your 
faith is resting, you will immediately relinquish it, as unwor- 
thy your confidence. And I must confess, that, a. ' - to 
their view of things, these fears are not without i on; 

for, if all appearances are against Scripture being an adequate 
Rule of faith, and it is to be believed, nevertheless^ that it U 
so, on the testimony of a few Fathers, then the lest that is said 
about it the better. I shall only say, however, that, having 
no such fears, I am not at all alarmed at seeing reason inquire 
into the matter. 

I shall now, therefore, venture to call the attention of rea- 
son to this matter, and beg it to view very narrowly the struc- 
ture of the New Testament, and see the stability of the foun- 
dation upon which is built the truth that Holy Scripture is 
fitted by its structure to be the Rule of faith and practice in 
at least all vital points. 

Let us consider the facts of the case. 

Of the Gospel of St. Matthew, Eusebius tells us, that 
" Matthew, having preached first to the Hebrews, and being 
" about to go to other nations, wrote the Gospel according to 
^' him in his own language, supplying by wTitiug the want of 
" his presence and converse among those whom he was about 
" to leave." - 

» NKWMAN'a Lect. on Rom. &c., pp. 339, 340. 

' EusEB. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 24. See also Chbtsost. Comment, in Matth. 
hom. 1. J and Op. Imp. in Matth. Prsefat. 


The Gospel of St. Mark was penned by him a« the Gospel 

preached by St. Peter, and was expressly sanctioned by Peter.* 
The especial object of St. Peter in having this Gospel written 
was, if we believe the common Patristical interpretation of 
2 Pet. i. 15, (and which carries upon it an air of great proba- 
bility), to insure to his followers a knowledge of the great 
truths of Christianity ; which shows how little he was willing 
to trust them to oral Tradition. 

Besides these, wc have the Gospel of St. Luke, professing to 
give Theophilus " a declaration o{ those things which were most 
B\irc\y believed" among Christians, that he might "know the 
certainty of those things wherein he liad been instructed.** 

Still further, — These three Gosjiels were reviewed by St. John, 
and published with his sanction, and he himself added a fowrth, 
to supply what he considered desirable to make up a complete 
account of our Lord's life and doctrine.^ And, connected with 
this fact, those words towards the close of his Gospel are more 
especially observable as favourable to our view, in which he 
says, — " And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence 
" of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But 
" these are wTitten, that ye might believe, that Jesus is the Christ 
" the Son of God, and that, believing, ye might have life through 
" his name." (John xx. 30, 31.) 

And these accounts of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, let us 
observe, were written for the information of mankind at large, 
not as documents intended only for the private use of the 
pastors of the Church ; and were diligently distributed for that 
purpose by the earliest teachers of Christianity ;^ which is an 
important consideration in judging of their fitness to be the 
Rule of faith to mankind. 

If, then, these four Gospels do not fully and clearly deliver 
all the important doctrines of Christianity, I know not where 
we ai-e to look for them. Any one Gospel may, perhaps, be 
not suflSciently full for the purpose, because at the time when 

' See pp. 29, 30 above. 

2 See EusEB. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 24. See, also, Epiph. Adv. Haer. in 
hser. 51. §§ 4—8. 

3 See ErsEB. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 37. 


they were written, there might be other reliable evidence as to 
the doctrines which the Apostles preached. But that all the 
four should be considered insufficient for the purpose, espe- 
cially when we find that one of them was drawn up by an 
Apostle, in order to supplement any deficiency in the others 
in their account of our Lord's life and doctrine, savours more 
of zeal for a favourite hypothesis than of the calm conclusions 
of reason. 

But we are not left with these only ; we have, besides them, 
above twenty Epistles, written by several of the Apostles to 
various churches and individuals, in order to explain still 
more fully and clearly the Christian faith. Now these, I 
admit, were written as occasion ofiered ; and if the whole of 
the New Testament had consisted of such writings, the objec- 
tions of the Romanists on this head might have had some 
foundation ; but, as it is, these Epistles are merely the addi- 
tional explanations vouchsafed us for our guidance and com- 
fort, beyond the more summary accounts given us by the 
Evangelists; explanations in the absence of which, much 
certainly of the light now enjoyed would have been wanting, 
and which, on account of the inspiration of their authors, 
form part of the Divine Rule of faith and practice. But had 
we been without these Epistles and the book of Revelation, the 
Divine Rule of faith and practice, so far as the New Testa- 
ment revelation is concerned, would have been limited to the 
four Gospels, for the very same reason that it is now limited 
to the Scriptures we possess, namely, that they only would 
have possessed any certain title to be considered as the word 
of God. Nor do we thereby make the rest of little importance 
to us, because the importance to us of the remainder arises, 
not from the fuller information it contains being in the ab- 
stract necessary to salvation, but chiefly from the fact that 
God has given that fuller information to us, and that conse- 
quently it is necessary for us to make use of it, the necessity 
for belief in any doctrine arising only from the fact of its being 
revealed to us ; and partly also from the circumstance, that it 
gives us a further insight into many spiritual truths and duties. 



To all which wc may add, that one of the earliest Christian 
writerg^ Irenseus, expressly telU us, that what the Apo»tle« 
first preached, that they afterwards wrote in the Scriptures.' 

The notion, therefore, that any important portion of the 
revelation made to mankind through our Blessed Lord and hi* 
Apostles has not c<mie down to us in the Scriptures of the 
New Testament is entirely opposed to facts. 

The argument here urged is so clear and evident, that even 
Mr. Newnuui himself, when professing to oppose the Roman- 
ists, and to show that Scripture is the Canon of the faith, (an 
orthodoxy preserved, as we have already seen, in name and 
words only, for his real meaning is in substance precisely the 
same as that of the Romanists,) actually adopts it. After 
quoting with approbation a remark of Bishop Taylor's, that 
''our Ix)rd'8 teaching contains all things necessary to salva- 
tion,*' (p. 357,) of which teaching he holds Scripture to be 
the sole record, he remarks, "The doctrines of our faith are 
" really promulgated by Christ himself. There is no truth 
" which St. Paul or St. John declare, which he does not 

" anticipate If we had only the Gospels, we should have 

** in them all the great doctrines of the Epistles, all the arti- 
" cles of the Creed .... And this is one main reason, it 
" would seem, why the Epistles are vouchsafed to us ; not so 
" much to increase the Gospel, as to serve as a comment upon 
" it, as taught by our Lord, to bring out and fix His sacred 
" sense, lest we should by any means miss it." (pp. 360, 1.) 
And yet, after all, we must go (Mr. Newman says) to Tradi- 
tion for the full development of those truths, for they are 
neither /wZ/y nor clearly revealed in Scripture, and the chances 
are seriously against any one being able to learn them from 
Scripture. And in order to oblige us, if possible, to receive 
" Tradition " as a piirt of the Rule of faith, the Scriptural 
foundation of some of the most important doctrines of the 
faith is cavilled at as quite insufficient. Now these two state- 
ments can only be reconciled on one of these two suppositions, 
either that the Apostles purposely kept back something, when 
they professed to give mankind an account of our Lord's 
' Ieex. Adv. Ha?r. iii. 1. 


teaching, and to explain in their Epistles his doctrine, or that, 
though they were inspired, they were unable to give a clear 
account of the matter; on which latter supposition, by the 
way, any report of their oral teaching will not give us much 
additional help. 

This is another rather curious specimen, as it appears to 
me, of the windings of Mr. Newman's labyrinth. 

Nor can I quit this head without remarking, that the 
argument for the insufficiency of Scripture as the Rule of 
faith for all revealed truth, derived from the supposition that 
Tradition teaches something that is fundamental in that ti-uth, 
the knowledge of which could not be obtained from Scripture, 
rests upon an entirely false foundation. Nothing requires our 
belief as a revealed truth, which is not to be found in that 
which we have reason to consider to be the word of God. 
Any objection, therefore, to the doctrine of the sufficiency of 
Scripture as the Rule of faith, on the ground that certain 
views are a fundamental part of the revealed faith, and yet 
are not found clearly stated in Scripture, is manifestly invalid. 
If they are not clearly the doctrine of Scripture, they are not 
of necessary belief as a part of revealed truth. The necessity 
for belief in any doctrine of revelation does not arise from its 
being a true doctrine, because there may be important doc- 
trines that are true and possibly revealed to some, but which, 
not having been revealed to us, we are not bound to believe ; 
but it arises from the fact, that it has been clearly revealed to 
us, in that which we know to be the word of God; and there- 
fore, to us, the necessary revealed faith can at the utmost only 
be co-extensive with the revelation repossess. And had there 
been no Scriptures, there would have been scarcely anything 
that we could have depended upon as a divine revelation. Our 
duty is to believe what God has spoken, but that duty is 
necessarily limited to the belief of that which we have good 
reason to be convinced that God has spoken. And all that is 
clearly revealed demands our belief on the ground of the 
obedience due to God ; and a wilful rejection of what we know 
to be a doctrine revealed to us by God, cannot be reconciled 

H 2 


witli a state of salvation. The ground on whicli we distinguish 
some points from others in the revelation God has made to u», 
considering some fundamental and others not, is, chiefly that 
Holy Scripture seems to mark out some as fundamental, and 
also periiaps that it appears to us, that in some points men 
may remain ignorant of what the Divine doctrine respecting 
them is, without their spiritual life being seriously affceted 
by it, while in the case of others the spiritual life would be 
seriously affected by such ignorance — which {>oints therefore, 
BEING REVEALED, wc hold to bc of Decessary belief. 
I proceed to notice, 

(3) The arguments and objections which may bc derived 
from general considerations. 
And here let us observe. 

First : — The committal of the Gospel to writing at all, is a 
strong argument in favour of the whole revealed faith, that is, 
in all important points at least, having been committed to 
writing. For why was it written at all, and not left to be 
communicated to mankind by the oral teaching of the disciples 
of the Apostles and their successors to the end of the world, but 
that its perpetuation would thus have been endangered, that 
is, in other words, but for the uncertainty of "Tradition?" 
And if they committed to writing one part of the doctrines 
they delivered on this account, did not the same reason operate 
equally strongly for committing the whole to writing ; that is, 
all that was of vital importance to Christians ? Why should 
any important part be left out in all the four accounts, when 
they were written for the purpose of giving the Christian 
world the best information on the doctrines of Christianity ? 
Is it reasonable to suppose, that this would be the case ? 
especially when we recollect, that the first three were reviewed 
by the author of the last, and that the last was written to make 
their account more complete ? Can we venture to think them 
guilty of such an inconsistency, guided as they were by the 
Divine Spirit in all such matters ? 

And the same argument operates with equal force in favour 
of their having delivered those doctrines clearly and fullij. For, 


the great object to be attained by committing them to writing, 
was to prevent their being corrupted through the imperfections 
or corrupt prejudices of human nature; but if they were not 
clearly and fully delivered, and it was left to "Tradition" to 
hand down the " full doctrine/' they would be almost as much 
exposed to such corruption, as they would have been had they 
not been written; and there cannot be charged upon the 
writers any incapability of delivering those doctrines clearly 
and fully. 

Secondly : — Patristical Tradition cannot be, practically, any 
part of the Rule of faith or practice to men in general, for it 
has to be evolved from a multitude of volumes, by a process 
which renders it practically inaccessible to the great bulk of 

For how are men, generally, to obtain a knowledge of what 
is called primitive catholic consent ? Supposing it to be 
deducible from the records of antiquity which remain to us, 
(which it is not,) how are men, generally, to find out that 
which is derived from a careful cDinparison and survey of a 
whole library of volumes? 

But it may be said, it is delivered to them by others whom 
they may safely trust. But what assurance have they of this? 
Is it so very easy a task to determine infallibly the opinion of 
the whole Primitive Church respecting any contested doctrine ? 
Oh ! yes, saith Mr. Newman, " the doctrine of the Apostles" 
is " an historical fact, and ascertainable as other facts, and 
obvious to the intelligence of inquirers as other facts ;" " the 
Church enforces a fact — Apostolical Tradition." (pp. 224, 5.) 

Now we have already so fully entered upon this point in a 
former chapter, that I need not, I hope, add one word here for 
the overthrow of such a notion. It is only surprising how any 
one at all acquainted with the matter, could risk such an 
assertion. And, in truth, Mr. Newman himself seems aware, 
that this obvious fact may be anything but obvious to many; 
and hence he is forced, at last, to take refuge, like the Ro- 
manists, in the infallibility of the Church, and " that doctrine 
" which is true considered as an historical fact, is true also be- 


" cause she [the Church] teaches it "(p. 220.) ; and therefore, if 
any one ventures to think for himself as to what thi« "fact" is, by 
a survey of the writings of the Fathers, if he concludes contrary 
to what " the Church'' teaches, his mouth is stopped at once 
by the plea of the infallibility of the Church, so that he might 
as well spare himself the labour of inquiring, and take all at 
once from the hands of the Church ; which, indeed, is the happy 
state to which our opponents seem to wish to reduce us. Thus, 
all questions are, at last, swallowed up in the quicksand of 

And the curious part oi this matter is, that Mr. Newman, 
instead of boldly tellnig us, like the Romanists, what and who 
*' the Church" is, fairly intimates that he is at a loss to do so ; 
but asks with great simplicity, whether we cannot consider our 
own church as able to answer the purpose ; so that, after all 
the high-sounding words about the teaching of " the Church," 
— " the Catholic Church," it iurns out, that, practically, this 
means the teaching of a company of men, occupying a section 
of a little island at one corner of the world. Surely, says Mr. 
N., she '' transmits the antient catholic faith simply and in- 
telligibly ;" " to follow the Church, then, in this day, is to follow 
the Prayer-book." (p. 313.) No doubt we who belong to her 
think 80. But how did we find out, that she " transmits the 
antient catholic faith ? " Are all men bound to take her word 
for it ? So, then, after all this vapouring about the infallibility 
of the Church's teaching, there is no teaching to be found to 
which such a high-sounding name belongs.^ To talk, indeed, 
of the teaching of the Church Catholic, either as consisting of 
the whole body of professing Christians, or of the true children 
of God, or even of the pastors of the Church, is a manifest 
absurdity ; for the suffrages of either body never were and 
never could be collected, and to such a consent only could the 
idea of freedom from error be attached. 

Patristical Tradition, then, cannot be practically any part of 

^ Can we be surprised, that Mr. Xewman, before very long, discovered, that 
the Church of Rome was the only Communion to which he could consistently 
belong ? But he was only speaking according to the \'iews which still charac- 
terize the Tractarian party in our Church. 


the infallible Rule of faith to mankind ; because, to the ma- 
jority, it is not accessible. The doubt and uncertainty hanging 
over it in all cases, are to the great majority of mankind 
doubled ; and it comes to them, at least, with such a probability 
of alloy and corruption, that it absolutely needs to be tried 
and tested by some touchstone which can be depended upon, 
to show them what in it may be agreeable to truth, and what 
otherwise. Ill other words, instead of being any part of the 
Rule, it must be itself judged by the Rule. 

Thirdly : — So clearly is Scripture set forth by the Fathers 
as the Rule of faith, that our opponents are forced to admit, 
that, in necessary points, (to which, for their own pui-poses, 
they would fain limit the use of the word faith,) that title 
cannot be denied to Scripture. This forced admission, then, 
is, as it respects these points at least, fatal to their cause ; for 
if, in these, it is, as they in words admit, the Canon or Rule 
of faith, then Tradition is not, in these points, any part of the 

For, that which is the Ride of faith to men in necessary 
points, is that by which necessary faith is to be regulated and 
measured ; and it is contrary to the nature of a rule, to receive 
either addition or diminution in those respects for which it is 
a rule. And so the Fathers say. Thus, Chrysostom, who 
calls the Scriptures " the rule of all things,"^ that is, all re- 
ligious truth, says, " A rule receives neither addition or dimi- 
nution, otherwise it ceases to be a rule."^ And Basil, reprov- 
ing Eunomius for saying, that the creed, while he called it a 
standard and rule, needed an addition to make it more accu- 
rate,'^ observes, that this is the extreme of folly, for that " a 
" standard and rule, as long as nothing is wanting to them to 
" make them a standard and rule, admit no addition for 
" greater accuracy. For an addition is wanting only to supply 

' See under Clirj'sostom in ch. 10 below. 

^ 'O Kawiiy oihf ■rp6<T0t<rii>y oCrt itpcdpfffiy S«x*t(u, iirfl rh Kcwaiy flyau a-r6\- 
\v<Tt. CnRYSOtiT. Comment. hiEp. ad Phil. horn. 12. § 2. Op. ed. Btued. torn. 
xi. i>. 293. 

* npoffd-fiKTis aKpi^fffrtpas St^irdiii. BASIL. Css. Adv. Eunom. lib, i. § 5. 
Op. ed. Ik'ued. torn. i. p. 213. 


" a defect ; but if they were iini>crfecti they could not pro- 

" peril/ be called by these names." ' 

True it is, that the Fathers often apply the phra»e, " the 
Rule of faith," to a brief summary of the leading articles of 
the fuith ; but then we must consider the j)urpose for which it 
was intended. It was an elementary summary of the chief 
articles of the faith, intended to serve as the Church's Confes- 
sion ; and thus was, in that sense, the Church's Rule of faith. 
It had its origin, as we have seen in a former chapter, in the 
words of our I^ord ; and probably consisted originally of no- 
thing more than the confession of the Trinity, including the 
identification of the Son with Jesus Christ ; and the reason 
for this selection may clearly be traced to the words in which 
our Lord instituted the rite of baptism.^ The Creed, then, 
was strictly, " the Rule of faith," fur the purjjose for which it 
was a rule ; that is, as the Church's elementary Confession. 
As long as it remained the Church's Confession, it admitted 
reither addition nor diminution, but by the same authority 
that made it. 

When, therefore, the Fathers applied the term Rule of faith 
to Scripture, they meant, that in those respects in which it 
was a rule, it was complete and perfect ; it admitted neither 
addition nor diminution. In what respects, then, did they so 
receive it ? Not with regard merely to the Church's Confes- 
sion. No ; but with reference to the whole faith, or at least 
the whole necessary faith, by which necessary belief was to be 
regulated and measured; admitting neither addition nor dimi- 
nution, for the purpose for which it was a rule. So that at 
least in all the points of faith required for salvation, \i'\t'\a the 
rule, it is the whole of the rule, containing a revelation of all 
doctrines necessary to be known, and a revelation going to the 
full extent of what is required to be known respecting them : 

' TovTO 5« avrh Kol T^i Arx<^Tijy a/jueBelas tnififioy ftrrcc, e« rtc koI tovto <plXov 
irape^erd^fiy 6 yip roi Kov&iv, Sj (ro<(KiLn-are, kcu 6 yvSixcey, (cos tiv ^rfitv iyStr) rod 
Kaviiiv (lyat koI yvoifitev, ovSffjLiay irpoffOriKriy els aKpi^fiay t'lriSe'xeTai. Kara yap 
rb e'AAeTiroi' r] irp6(TBe<Tis. 'ATfAeTs 5€ inrdpxoyrfs, ovSf rwv Tpocnryopiwy roinuv 
vyi<>>s t^v en rvyxiyoiey. Id. ib. pp. 213, 214. 

2 See chapter 4 above. 


otherwise it would not be the rule for necessary faith. To say, 
then, that Scripture is the Rule of faith in necessaries, but 
that, nevertheless, the full doctrines of Christianity in some 
fundamental points are only to be found in Scripture and 
Tradition taken together as a joint Rule, is of all inconsisten- 
cies the most absurd.^ 

Fourthly : — Our opponents allow, that, in all fundamental 
points. Scripture is the document of proof ; and that Scrip- 
ture-proof of all such doctrines is absolutely necessary ; a 
concession which, if they did not make, might be forced from 
them, upon tJunr own principles, by the testimony of the Fa- 
thers.^ Now this concession is absolutely and summarily fatal 
to their cause, as tar as the fundamentals of the faith are con- 

For, if Scripture-proof is required ni all such doctrines, 
then, whether it be required for the satisfaction of " the 
Church " or an individual, such proof eansts in Scripture for 
all ; and such proof can exist only as far as the doctrine is there 
revealed. Any anipliticatiou or fuller statement of the doc- 
trine, derived from any other source, cannot, as far as concerns 
the additional ideas conveyed, receive any proof from Scrip- 
ture. He who states the doctrine more clearly or fully (as he 
may think) than Scripture, cannot have Scripture- warrant for 
his statements. If, therefore, Scripture-proof is required for 
the fundamentals of the faith, then, in such points. Scripture 
is the sole Rule of faith ; for, by the declarations of Scripture, 
our faith, as it respects such points, must be measured and 
bounded. Not only are we not required to believe more, but it 

* In the above reasoning, I have 8up}K)6ed, that when the Fathers called the 
Scripture the Rule of faith, they might mean only in points required for sahra- 
tiun ; and that they did consider it as such in these points cannot be denied. I 
shall show hereafter, however, (in ch. x.) tliat they, or at least many of them, 
meant the plirase to mean much more ; and that they regarded Scripture as 
moiisuring and boimduig the whole faith, inasmuch as it bounded what could 
be known to be divine revelation. 

' I hope to show fully hereafter, when quoting the t«stimoniefi of the Fathers, 
that they, or at least many of them, not only held, that the fimdamental doc- 
trines of the faith must be proved from Scripture, but that all the doctriueb of 
the Christian religion must be so proved. 


is at our peril to add to what is there revealed ; for our faith 

Ima lljt'ii no proper fouru/at ion to rest upon. 

It is true, that I'atriHticHl Tradition may be very useful as ft 
teacher, in pointing out to us what Scripture docs contain and 
prove, by drawing out and illustrating its sense; and is, on 
luauy accounts, if we will but rcincnibcr to use it with proper 
caution, a valuable interpreter of Scripture. But, the doctrines 
which it teaches us, have authority over our faith, only so far 
as they appear to us to be authorized by, and proveable from 
Scripture. I say, so far as they appear to wt to be so, be- 
cause we are responsible to God individually ; and having what 
all allow to be his Word in the Scriptures, we are responsible 
to him for believing what in our consciences we believe to be 
the meaning of his Word. It is useless to reply, that we may 
possibly in such a case have an immense majority of the pro- 
fessing Christian Church against us, or that possibly we may 
interpret the Scriptures wrongly. For, not to say, that ma- 
jorities are no proof of truth, and that we hold with the Fathers 
that all the fundamentals of faith and practice are, to the hum- 
ble inquirer, plain in Scripture, and that the promises of God 
ensure success to the inquiries of the sincere and humble- 
minded, we hold it to be a truth altogether undeniable, that if 
we are certain that God has spoken to us, and are convinced 
in our consciences that what he has said means this or that, 
nothing ought to be allowed to move us from a faith so taken 
up ; and if we err, oitr jttdgment is not with fallible man, but 
with God. 

But this subordination of Patristieal Tradition to Scripture, 
our opponents cannot think of allowing; for though, in 
words, they admit Scripture to be the document of proof, and 
will talk of the necessity of Scripture-proof for the funda- 
mental doctrines, there is nothing which they less admit in 
reality, either as it respects the Church, or individuals. 

Their favourite phrase on this subject is, that " Tradition 
teaches, Scripture proves;"^ by which they mean to intimate, 
that Scripture is insufficient to teach, but sufficient to prove ; 

1 Keble's Serm. p 114. 


(a tolerably strange contradiction to begin with;) and the 
reason is, that Scripture contains only obscure " notices " of 
the necessary doctrines, but Tradition has handed down these 
doctrines /wZ/y and clearly. We must, therefore, learn these 
doctrines from Tradition, and regard the obscure notices of 
these doctrines in Scripture, as pruv'my all that Tradition has 
delivered to us respecting them. Our opponents, it would 
seem, are easily satisfied as to proofs, when it suits their hypo- 
thesis to be so. But certainly with their view of the nature 
of faith, we cannot be surprised at this. For, the less the 
evidence, the more excellent the faith. Its doubtfulness, 
Mr. Newman thinks, gives an opportunity for faith to be 
" generous." On any other hypothesis, however, it is difficult 
to see, how that which contains only obscure notices of a doc- 
trine, notices only to be understood by the aid of Tradition, 
can be said to prove that doctrine. The inconsistency is so 
glaring, that to quote authorities to show it, seems almost 
superfluous; but there are some remarks of our excellent 
Archbishop Tenison, so much to the purpose on this point, 
that I cannot refrain from quoting them. " The Romanists," 
says the Archbishop, " declare, that the Scriptures are so 
'• obscure, even in matters of faith, that the people, without 
" an infallible guide, cannot find out the true sense of them. 
" If this doctrine of theirs be true, it is most absurd 


" PEOPLE OUT OF THE SCRIPTURES, seeing that supposeth the 
" Scriptures clearer than those articles; for that by which 
" anything is proved, is to be more known and certain, than 
" that which is proved by it. This way, likewise, sets up the 
" people as judges of the sense of these Scriptures which they 
" offer to them in the main points in difference ; that is, they 
" now confess the people can judge of that of which they yet 
" say they cannot judge, by reason of their weakness, and the 
" obscureness of the Holy IVritings. But when men have 
" a mind to proceed IN a cause, it is not a contradic- 
" TioN that can stop THEM. Therefore, notwithstanding- 
" this, and very much more of the like nature, which might 


" be alleged against this way of proceeding, as plaiuly incon- 
" sistent, — still, amongst the weak, who discern not the ab- 
" surdity, and have not skill to set their methods one againnt 
" another, they make their boast of Scripture jtroofs for their 
" religion, and against ours/*' Thus, Mr. Iluscnbeth tells 
US, " Let it be further remarked, that when the Catholic 
" Church has declared the sense of Scripture, and deduced 
'' certain doctrines from it, we may then, as Scotus has also 
" remarked, confidently assert, that they can be manifestly 
" PHovKD from Srni)turc."' So that if the '^Catholic 
Church " was to declare, that Scripture said that black was 
white, we might then "confidently assert," that it might be 
" manifestly proved " from Scripture. No matter what 
Scripture says, but if the Catholic Church declares that it 
says this or that, then this or that may be "manifestly 
proved " out of it. 

Moreover, it would be worth knowing, how it is, that since 
Tradition is an unwritten Word of God, we have any need of 
Scripture-proof, after Tradition has taught us the faith, and 
that more clearly and fully than Scripture can. It seems, at 
any rate, needless trouble to go any further. For, if Tradi- 
tion is in substance the Word of God, it jrroves the truth of 
what it delivers, as well as Scripture could : for one word of 
God is worthy of equal reverence, and is of equal authority, 
with any other. " If we will be impartial," says Mr. Keble, 
" we cannot hide it from ourselves, that God's unwritten word, 
" if it can be any how authenticated^ [and the position con- 
" tended for is, that it can be authenticated, and is to be found 
" in the Fathers,] must necessarily demand the same reverence 
" from us, [i. e. as his written word,] and for exactly the same 
" reason, because it is his word." ^ Certainly : and therefore 
to send us to the obscure notices of Scripture for proofs of a 
doctrine which the " unwritten word " has delivered to us 

* Tenison's Popery not founded on Scripture. Lond. 1688. 4to. Introduc- 
tion, p. 12. 

* HrsENBETH's Ecplj to Fabcr, 2d. ed. p. 2^17. 
' Keble's Serm. p. 26. 


clearly and fully, is most unreasonable. So that at best this 
observation as to " Tradition teaching and Scripture proving," 
is, in the sense in which they mean it, full of absurdity and 

There is a sense, indeed, in which this phraae, "Tradition 
teaches. Scripture proves," is true enough ; and states a fact 
which occurs in the case of most individuals, who are first 
taught principally by creeds and catechisms, which have been 
handed down from generation to generation, for a longer or 
shorter time ; but then Tradition is not here taken as meaning 
anything derived from the oral teaching of the Apostles, as if 
we had anything which could be considered as coming to us 
with Apostolical authority, — and the learner is also taught, 
that the truths so delivered to him rest altogether upon the 
authority of Scripture ; and are obligatory upon him only so 
far as they arc authorized by Scripture ; and to Scripture he 
is exhorted to go, as soon as he is able to examine for himself, 
and make Scripture-testimony the sole ground of his faith. 

It is no proof that those who have come to years of discre- 
tion do not learn the doctrines of the faith from Scripture as 
the sole ground of their faith, that they have first been made 
acquainted with them through the medium of a creed, or cate- 
chism, or elementary work. A child or uneducated person 
may thus take the doctrines of Christianity upon the word of 
the parent or teacher, this being all the satisfaction they may 
be capable of as to the truth of those doctrines. But even 
this is not, strictly speaking, traditionary teaching, for he 
who teaches, if he knows his duty, will (whatever /orwm/a he 
may make use of in the way of creed or catechism, &c.) teach 
those doctrines only for which he has Scripture-proof. And 
the child, when he comes to years of responsibility to God, is 
bound to examine the book of God for himself, as far as he is 
able, to see whether what he has been taught is agreeable to 
what is there delivered, and thus to learn his faith, as a being 
responsible to God, from Scripture as the sole ground of it. 
Nor is there any inconsistency, as our opponents insinuate, in 
giving what is called " the Apostles* Creed," as the summary 


of our belief, and yet asserting, that the Scripture in the sole 
ground of our faith, and that we have learned the faith from 
Scripture, inasmuch as the reason why we receive that Creed i«, 
as our Church expresses it, " because it may be proved by most 
certain warrants of Holy Scripture." (Art. 8.) And as the 
language of the Primitive Church may have greater weight 
with our opponents in proof of this, I will give them an unex- 
ceptionable instance of a very early date, viz., in the language 
used by the Fathers assembled at the Synod against Noetus, 
who, after repeating the Creed in the usual form of that period, 
immediately add, "We maintain these doctrines, iiavino 


And hence we may observe the confusion and inconsecjuen- 
tial reasoning that mark the following observation of one of 
the Tract writers, who says, — *' It is to be observed, that where 
" separatists hold the catholic truth, they hold it, not from 
" Scripture only, for others, on the jdea of Scriptural authority, 
'* deny the same, [mark the logic of this, that because some 
" j)lcad Scripture in defence of error, therefore nobody can find 
" the truth in it,] but from Tradition supplied by the Church, 
" which has.been to them the key to the Scriptures."^ As if men 
could not hold the truth/rom Scripture only, where Tradition, sup- 
plied by the Church, may have been, in the first instance, the 
key to the Scriptures. Why, this very thing, which they tell 
us " it is to be observed " cannot be, is precisely what is con- 
tended for by their supposed friends. Hooker and Archbishop 
Laud. Speaking of the Tradition supplied by the Church, 
the Archbishop says, " It serves to work upon the minds of 
" unbelievers to move them to read and to consider the Scrip- 
" ture. . . And secondly, it serves among novices, weaklings, 
" and doubters in the faith, to instruct and confirm them tUl 
" they may acquaint themselves with and understand the Scrip- 
" ture, which the Church delivers as the Word of God. .... 
" No man can set a better state of the question between Scrip- 

* TaDra \eyoixfy, fiffJM&r]K6res airh rwv Qduv ypa/pwv. EnPHAy. Adv. Haer. ; 
haer. Noet. 57. Op. ed. Petav. vol. i. p. 480. 
2 Tract 80. p. 65. 


" ture and Tradition than Hooker doth : his words are these : — 
" ' The Scripture is the (/round of our belief: the authority of 
" man (that is the name he gives to tradition^) is the key 
" which opens the door of entrance into the knowledye of the 
" Scripture.' "^ 

The Tradition supplied by the Church may be, and perhaps 
generally is, the means of first introducing men to a knowledge 
of the truths of Scripture ; but the ground of faith to one 
who has Scripture in his hands, and is sufficiently capable of 
judging to be responsible to God for forming a right judgment, 
and the sole infaUible ground of faith to all, is Scripture. 

Further, when we come to inquire, what our opponents 
mean, when they say that Scripture is to be referred to for 
proof, we shall find that, practically, it amounts to nothing. 
They are forced to admit it in words, because they see plainly, 
that the Fathers admitted it, while (as in other cases) they in 
effect altogether deny it. For, neither "the Church," nor 
any individual, may understand Scripture as meaning anything 
else than what " Tradition" teaches as its meaning. So that 
though they talk of the necessity of going to Scripture for 
proof, and believing only what Scripture proves, tljey, in fact, 
mean, not Scripture, but the interpretation given to Scripture 
by " Tradition," that is, in other words, " Tradition." Their 
appeal, therefore, is not to Scripture-proof, but to "Tradition" 
saying that Scripture proves it. When talking of Scripture- 
proof, then, they are merely trifling with us, and throwing 
dust into the eyes of men to blind them to the real state of 
the case, just as the Papists do when they send us to the 
Scriptures for a proof of the infallibility of their Church, which 
if we cannot find in the texts they quote for it as proof, we 
are rated as infidels for presuming to suppose, that texts 
quoted by infallibility as meaning this or that, can possibly 
mean anything else. 

The Church herself, when proving the truth from Scripture, 
is " a w ituess of catholic truth delivered to her in the first 

1 Tliese are the Archbishop's words. 

2 Lacd's lleply to FLsher, § 16. n. 21 & 25. 


" ages, whether by Councils, or by Fathers, or in whatever 
" other way," and " does not claim any gift of interpretation for 
herself, in the high ))oints in question," but " hands over the 
office to catholic antiquity." " Much less does she allow 
individuals to pretend to it."* In them it would be a high 
crime and misdemeanour to go to Scripture to judge for 
themselves, whether there was any sufficient proof of what the 
Fathers had delivered on these points ; for, " the popular view," 
"that every Christian has the right of making up his mind 
"for himself what he is to believe, from personal and private 
" study of the Scriptures," is " so very prcjwsterout^' — " some- 
thing so very strange and wild," that Mr. Newman is "unable 
" either to discuss or even to impute such an opinion to 
" another."^ " In what our Articles say of Holy Scripture as 
" the document of proof, exclusive reference is had to teaching. 
" It is not said, that individuals are to infer the faith, but that 

"the Church is to prove it from Scripture The sole 

" question in the Articles is, how the Church is to teach." ^ And 
it is " in matters of inferior moment" only that either the 
Church or the individual " have room to exercise their own 
powers."* So that both the Church and all individuals are 
bound hand and foot to the Fathers, and dare not think of 
inquiring for themselves what Scripture means, and what it 
proves, but only what " Tradition" says that it means and 
proves. And the way in which individuals are to use the 
Scriptures, is thus described : — " We think no harm can 
" COME from putting the Scripture into the hands of the laity, 
" [a very gracious concession to God's word, certainly,] allowing 
'^them, if they will, to verify by it, as far as it extends, the 
** doctrines they have been already taught." * 

Of what use, then, is it to go to the Scriptures at all ? for 
what difference is there between believing a doctrine because 
" Tradition " declares it, and believing it because " Tradition " 
says that Scripture declares it ? And moreover, by not going 
to Scripture, we avoid the danger of being obliged to believe, 

* Newmas's Led, on Bom. &c. p. 323. " lb. pp. 173, 4, 

» lb. pp. 323, 4. * lb. p. 325. » lb. p. 167. 


that Scripture means something different from what it seems 
to us to say ; which undeniably is a startling requirement, 
but one which Mr. Newman makes without any apparent 
hesitation — " When the sense of Scripture," he says, " as in- 
" terpreted by reason, is contrary to the sense given to it by 
" catholic antiquity, we ought to side with the latter ;" which 
" is part of the theory of private judgment," " as," he con- 
ceives, " the English Church maintains it." ' 

We are obliged to him for thus speaking out, because after 
all this there can be no mistake ; and we thus clearly see, 
what their favourite saying, that "Tradition teaches and 
Scripture proves," really means, viz., that " Tradition teaches 
and Tradition proves," and that practically from end to end 
" Tradition " is all in all ; and that if any one goes to Scrip- 
ture, it must be, not to ascertain what appears to him to be 
its meaning, but only to try to find in it a confirmation of 
those doctrines which " Tradition " has delivered to him ; and 
thus, instead of " Tradition " being used for the confirmation 
of the doctrines derived by us from Scripture, Scripture is 
put down into the subordinate office of affording a confirma- 
tion to what " Tradition " has delivered. 

Patristical Tradition may be, and no doubt is, useful in 
leading men to a right interpretation of Scripture, and 
has a moral persuasive power in inducing them to em- 
brace the truth. But, to assert that we must believe only 
in accordance with what Tradition tells us is the meaning 
of Scripture, is, in fact, to make Tradition the Rule 
of faith. For the very assertion supposes, that Scripture 
bears another sense besides that given to it by Tradition. 
Now, a man may believe that other sense to be the true 
sense, and that the sense given by Tradition in any particular 
point is as far from the true meaning as others think his to 
be. If, then, he is bound to believe the traditional interpre- 
tation, and so to believe a docti'ine which he cannot find in 
Scripture, and the truth of which appears to him only to rest 
upon Tradition, his faith in that doctrine, whatever it be, 

» lb. pp. 160, 161. 


rests upon Tradition, and Tradition is his llulc of faith. It 
is an old Roman Catholic cavil against us, that to interpret 
Scripture by fancy is the same thing as to follow fancy, which 
is very true, tiioiigh a very futile argument against us. By 
the same argument, then, to interpret Scripture by Tradition 
is to follow Tradition. 

And if the views of the Tractators are correct, the loss of 
Scripture altogether would not be of much importance. For 
it contains only brief and obscure notices of the truth, while 
" Tradition " delivers it clearly and fully. And when they 
speak of Tradition as the interpreter of Scripture, thit 
cannot be understood as if it had less intrinsic authority than 
Scripture, because they hold it to be, in substance, equally 
the word of God with Scripture. It has an authority in- 
dependent of Scripture, as flowing from the same source. 
Scripture and Tradition are not like a law and a judge's in- 
terpretation of it, but like two authoritative publications of a 
law, of which one is brief and obscure, and the other full and 
clear, of which, therefore, the latter supersedes the former. 

All this arises, of course, from the supposition that "Tra- 
dition" is the word of God ; and if it wpre so, I should quite 
agree with our opponents, that our reason was not to be put in 
competition with it. But first let it be proved to be so ; ^ 
and, at any rate, let us be spared these contradictory state- 
ments, that serve only to catch the unwary, and per])lex the 
uninitiated reader, and are so little to the credit of our 
common Christianity. 

All these self-contradictions spring from our opponents being 
committed to tivo opposite systems. Belonging to the Church of 

^ The reader may hence estimate the value of the observation of Dr. Hook, 
tliat they who imjily, that " the advocates of the English Reformation," as he 
is pleased to term them, " elevate Tradition above the Bible, or that they place 
Tradition on an equality with it," insinuate " a gross and uncharitahle false- 
hood." (\lsit. Serm. p. 64.) I shall not imitate Dr. Hook in the use of such 
language, but shall very willingly leave the matter to the common sense of man- 
kind to determine ; and that common sense will often give as true a verdict as 
a hasty reasoner, though a divine, wedded to a favourite hypothesis, and in- 
volveil in a labvrinth of high-sounding words and plirases which serve him in 
the place of truths and reahties. 


England, and striving to make their views appear conformable 
to her Articles, while at the same time they have embraced and 
are endeavouring to inculcate doctrines entirely opposed to 
them, and which they were, in fact, intended to repress, their 
statements are often altogether opposed to one another. Thus, 
the concession here made about Scripture being the document 
of proof, is evidently forced from them by the Gth Article of 
our Church, while it is one completely opposed to their whole 
system, and is, elsewhere, almost in terms contradicted. 

Such are some of the arguments derived from general con^ 
sideratiuns in favour of our view. 

But, from the same source our opponents deduce various 
objections against the notion that Scripture is the sole 
authoritative llulc of faith, which \\c. must now procci'd to 

Some of these liave been already noticed m connexion with 
the subjects of previous chapters. Others I shall consider 
when pointing out Scripture as the Judge of controversies, 
and the two principal, viz., the alleged imperfection and 
obscurity of the Scriptures, will form the subjects of the two 
following chapters. 

But there are three which I shall notice here. 

First ; it is objected, that Scripture cannot be the sole 
authoritative Rule of faith to men, because a great number of 
men are not qualified to deduce the faith from it.^ 

To this objection we have already rephed in a measure, but 
we shall here endeavour to show more fully how idle is this 
cavil against it. Were it even granted, that a great number 
of persons were in such a situation as is here supposed, (which, 
however, we altogether deny, as far as regards the funda- 
mentals of the faith,) will that prove, that God has given us 
any other infallible guide ? Will it make Patristical Tradition, 
Councils, or Pope, a sui-e and divine informant ? It is useless 

• See Mr. Newman, Ltx;t. 6 ; and '» A rational account of the doctrine of 
Koman Catholics concerning the Ecclesiastical Guide in Controversies of Re- 
ligion," by R. H. [i. e., Adkaham Woodhbad,] 2nd ed. 1673. Disc. ii. c. 5. 
§ 41. p. 139. 

I 2 


to reply, that if one of them is not so, God has not provided 
us with the means of Halvation. For the question then would 
be, What is necessary to salvation ? Is it necessary for any 
man to believe more than what Scripture plainly teaches ? It 
is not for us to argue from what we may think it would have 
been desirable for God to do, but to accept with thankfulness 
what he has done for us, and act accordinij to the circumstances 
in which we find ourselves placed. The question, then, as to 
whether Scripture is or is not the sole Rule of faith, must be 
determined independently of any such considerations as that 
which is here urged as an objection to its being so regarded. 

Moreover, such cases could not prove, that, to men of even 
common education. Scripture was not well able to answer the 
purpose of a rule ; and so, after all, would be but cases of a 
peculiar kind, not aflFecting our position as it regarded persons 
of any education. 

Mr. Newman, indeed, tells us, that " the great proportion 
" even of educated persons have not the accuracy of mind 
" requisite for determining" the faith from Scripture, (p. 175) ; 
and that " Scripture is not so clear as to hinder ordinary per- 
sons who read it for themselves from being Sabellians," &c. 
(p. 178,) which is as much as to say, that the insjnred writers 
of the Gospels have so imperfectly fulfilled their professed task 
of delivering the Gospel to the world, that even educated 
persons cannot tell what they mean ; and to lay the blame of 
any misunderstanding, not upon the corrupt prejudices or 
carelessness of mankind, but upon inherent obscurity in the 
inspired Scriptures. 

But, further, take the case of even an illiterate man. You 
want to instruct him in the truths of Christianity. Can you 
teach him what they are, better than our Lord and his 
Apostles, who wrote the books they have left us for the 
instruction of mankind at large in the doctrines of the faith ? 
He will find difficulties in his way (it may be said) in acquir- 
ing a knowledge of these truths from them. Will he find 
none, then, in your teaching? Will he find Mr. Newman's 
Treatise on Justification, for instance, afford him better means 


for arriving at the truth than St. Paul's account of the doc- 
trine ? 

Still further, suppose this illiterate man, wishing to arrive 
at the knowledge of the truth, goes, first, (lured by the high- 
sounding terms, "Vicar of Christ," "Church," "infallibility," 
&c.) to a Romanist for an explanation of this doctrine, and 
being not quite satisfied, (as, I hope, without offence to our 
opponents, may be supposed to be the case,) turns to a Trac- 
tarian, and being so unfortunate as still not to have found 
what speaks peace to his conscience, turns to other interpre- 
ters of the doctrine of our Church for aid, and finds, upon 
comparison, that all three speak a different language, and all 
three stoutly aver, that Patristical Tradition is on their side. 
What is the poor man to do under such circumstances ? May 
he not, without offence to our opponents, justly say, I must 
betake myself to that which all of you agree to be the word of 
God, and believe that which seems to me to be authorized by 
that word ? Nay, I beg to ask, what else can he reason- 
ably do ? 

Once more, let us suppose such a man to fall unhappily 
into the hands of Arians ? All the three parties he formerly 
consulted will, no doubt, agree here, but the Arians will tell 
him, that they arc all three in error. And here, again, both 
sides will appeal to Patristical Tradition ; and the latter will 
tell him, that some even of their opponents were obliged to 
allow, that the Ante-Nicene Fathers were against them, and 
that Arius appealed to Tradition as in his favour. What, then, 
is he to do here ? Is it very unreasonable for him to doubt, 
whether anything brought to him under the name of Patris- 
tical Tradition can be considered an unwritten word of God ? 
Is it very unreasonable for him to go to what both sides con- 
sider the word of God, and to think that such passages as 
declare that "the Word was God," (John i. 1.) that "Christ 
is; Wer all, God blessed for ever," (Rom. ix. 5.) that say of 
him, " Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever," (Heb. i. 8,) 
and that call him " Alpha and Omega, the beginning and 
the ending, which is and which was and which is to come, 
the Almighty," (Rev. i. 8,) go as near to settle the question 


as all which both Hides have ever offered him ? Is it very 
unreasonable for the j)oor illiterate man to say, — I can under- 
stand this, and I know it to be God's word, and am content ; 
but nine-tenths of the arguments which Patristical Tradition 
and controversialists have supplied me with, arc no doubt 
very learned and forcible, but quite beyond my reach, for I 
know nothing of Greek, or the principles of criticism, or any- 
thing of the kind, but still I do think that nothing can be 
plainer than these texts, and therefore I must let those who 
will, and can, wrangle on, while I rest here. At any rate, 
this is my safest course, with whatever difficulties it may 
be beset ; for though you agree in hardly anything else, you 
all tell me, that the Bible is the Word of God, and therefore, 
if 1 humbly endeavour to follow that, 1 am surely in the 
safest path ; and when you learned men have settled your 
differences, I shall be happy to hear from you again. 

But if our o])ponents say, — All this may be very true, but 
then this poor man is bound to follow " the Church,'' I must 
be permitted to ask, upon whom he is to depend to point out 
"the Church" to him. Christians are as much at variance 
about this, so far at least as regards its constitution as a guide, 
as about anything else ; and if it be added, that the marks of 
the true Church are such as to carry conviction to the mind 
of any one who can reason properly on such a matter, then 
you have turned your poor illiterate man into one able to 
judge where even able and learned men disagree, and therefore 
surely able to understand the plain statements of Scripture 
respecting the fundamentals of the faith. And if the Catholic 
Church is so easily discerned, will our opponents have the 
goodness to point it out with a little more precision than they 
have yet done ; and then still further tell us, (the most im- 
portant point of all,) how the voice of that Church can be so 
heard by this illiterate man as to be to him an infallible guide. 
Is he to read, or get others to read to him, all that the 
Fathers have written, and thus determine what is the meaning 
of Scripture ? The very notion is absurd. The question, 
then, is, whether he is to take as his guide the word of God 
itself in the Scriptures, or the opinion of men as to the mean- 


ing affixed to that word by Patristical Tradition. lu one way, 
God speaks to him immediately, and that voice can never be 
heard by man without reiidtriny him respoimble fur obeying it ; 
in the other, he is left at the mercy of fallible men. 

Our opponents, then, may conjure up as many ditiiculties 
as they please in the way of this poor man's arriving at a 
correct knowledge of the faith, and difficulties no doubt there 
are, (though, blessed be God, if he be a sincere and humble- 
minded inquirer, he has a heavenly guide who will not fail 
him,) but I would ask. What can be the standard of truth to 
such a man, amidst all the diversity of sentiment around him, 
but his Bible ? If you take away that as his Rule of faith, 
you leave him either at the mercy of the party among whom 
he happens to be born, or to be tossed about without any 
guide, on a sea of opinions upon which the wind is blowing 
from all quarters of the compass simultaneously.^ 

The second objection which I would here notice is this. 
That heretics, and men advancing erroneous views, have 
always appealed to Scripture as the test of truth in proof of 
their errors, and therefore that Scripture cannot be the sole 
Rule of faith.- 

Now, first, this is not true ; for, as we have already seen, 
many of the heretics appealed to the interpretation of Scrip- 
ture given by Tradition ; othei*s appealed to the Scriptures in 
a corrupt and mutilated state, adulterated to serve their pur- 
poses, (an appeal which is no evidence against the assertion that 
the Scriptures are competent to be the sole Rule of faith, and 

' Another objection brought by Mr. Newman, but which it really seems mi- 
necessarj' to notice more prominently than in this note, is actually derived from 
the " prejudices" of men, (p. 175,) from the *' fon-e prejxieseiisions have in di*- 
qualifying'us from searchiui^ Scripture disjMissioiuitely fur ourselves.'" (p. 180.) 
So that Scripture caimot be the st>le authoritative Kule of faith, hecaute men 
allow themselves to read it imder the influence of prejudices and prcixwsessions ! 
To ttate such an argxmient is to demolish it. That imperfect education, and 
the prevalence of prejudices and prepossessions, render such teaching as will in- 
struct the reason of men, and tend to remove their prejudices and pre- 
possessions, most valuable, ft-om whatever quarter it may come, is most true, 
but the argument derivcil from them by Mr. Newman is utterly untenable. 

- See Mr. Newm. Lect. 7., and Ke i.t.abm . De Verb. Dei, Ub. iv. c. 8. 


moreover to determine controversies of faith) ; other* tried to 
deter men altogether from the study of the Scripturen ; and the 
appeal, where made;, was made to a few isolated passages, not 
to a eonnccted view of the whole testimony of Scripture upon 
the subject.^ And much the same maybe said of modem 

But suppose it were otherwise, will that prove that Scrip- 
ture is not our sole Rule ? Because heretics, conscious of the 
claims of Scripture u)K)n us, have endeavoured to make it 
speak their views, are we to libel the word of God, by accusing 
it of insufficiency to teach men the truth, and be their Rule 
of faith ? When the devil tried to deceive our Saviour by 
quoting Scripture, did our Lord send him to Tradition for the 
truth ? Did he not, on that as on every other occasion, go to 
the Written Word as the Rule ? 

Nay, more, when heretics appeal to Scripture, docs it not 
tend to show, how clearly the common sense of mankind points 
out Scripture as the Rule of faith, when those who are con- 
demned by it feel themselves obliged to refer to it, and make 
it appear, if possible, in their favour ? They, indeed, who do 
not fear to accuse the Scripture of indistinctness and obscurity, 
may answer this in the negative; but they who have some 
remaining reverence for God's word will, I think, hesitate to 
do so. For surely, if men can thus distort the meaning of 
God's word, they can do the same to the writings of the 
Fathers, if they think it worth their while ; and this, indeed, 
is what has been done in some cases, by those who were 
anxious to obtain the support of the Fathers. 

Of all arguments, then, against the view for which we con- 
tend, this surely is one of the worst. 

And what says our opponents' witness, Bishop Stillingfleet, 
to it ? His Romish antagonist had urged, " that our Rule of 
" faith is common to all the heresies in the world, which pre- 
*' tend Scripture as well as we;" to which the bishop replies, 
— " This is just the old sceptical argument against certainty ; if 
" there be any such thing as certainty, you must assign such 
1 See above, ch. v. § 7, vol. L pp. 368 et seq. 


" a criterion which is not common to truth and falsehood ; 
" but if you cannot assign any such mark of truth which may 
" not as well agree to what is false, then there is no such 
" thing as certainty to be had. In matters of this nature the 
" proof must not lie in generals, but we must come to par- 
" ticulars, to show the grounds of our certainty, viz. as to the 
" Trinity and Incarnation of Christ ; and then, if we cannot 
" show why we believe those points, and reject the opposite 
" heresies, as Arianism, Sabellianism, Eutychianism, &c., then 
" we are to be blamed for want of certainty in these points, 
" but not before.'' ^ 

Thirdly, it is objected, that men are taught in Scripture to 
look to the pastors of the Church for instruction, and there- 
fore that Scripture was not intended to be the sole authori- 
tative Rule of faith. 

But, I ask. Is the Church to be heard in preference to God ? 
If not. Scripture is our guide in all things there delivered ; 
and he who believes that Scripture says one thing and the 
Church another, and follows the Church, is following man in 
preference to God. God has nowhere told us to go to the 
Church for the meaning of his own word. In the Scriptures 
he has spoken to us plainly, and the great duty of the minister 
of Christ is to bring before those who may be too ignorant or 
too careless to read, or too prejudiced to see, the truths which 
those Scriptures contain. " If any man speak," says the 
Apostle, " let him speak as the oracles of God." 

But the ministerial duty of the pastor interferes not with 
the claim of the Holy Scriptures to be the alone supreme and 
divine Rule of faith. "We may give their full value to the 
instructions of the pastors of the Church, without supposing 
them to be any part of the Rule of faith. 

There are some observations on this matter in a treatise 
written by Dr. Clagett (the friend of Archbishop Sharp) and 
Mr. Hutchinson conjointly, in the great Popish controversy in 
the time of James II., so judicious and pertinent to our present 

' Stiixingflkkt's Discourse concerning the nature and grounds of the cer- 
tamty of faith. Loud. 1688. p. 50. 


subject, that 1 shall here present the reader with an extract from 


" Although it be not only every man's right but duiy also 
" to inquire into the truth, and it be impossible but that he 
" mwaijmlyi' for hiiHHi'lf at last, yd tills does by no means void 
" the authority of spiritual guides and governors to lead the 
" people committed to their charge into the knowledge of the 
" truth. For instance, as in a matter of so great concern as 
" the true interpretation of Scripture, 1 am bound to use my 
" own judgment as well as I can, so for the same reason I am 
" bound to use all the helps 1 can procure, but especially to 
" hearken to the governors of that Church whereof I am a 
" member, which I may certainly do without being obliged to 
" follow them, right or wrong, unless a man must of necessity 
" put out his own eyes because he hopes that he hasa good guide. 
" That all confusion must needs follow the liberty of private 
" iuquiiy and judgment, is a thing that no declamations w ill 
" ever pereuade me to believe, when I know the contrary by 
" my own experience. 1 was baptized and educated in this 
" Church of England to the profession of Christianity : the 
" Church laid before me, as it does before all, her doctrine and 
" worship, and has given me means and liberty to examine all 
" by the Scriptures, and by common principles of religion. I 
** have done this as well as I can, and am mightily confirmed 
" in that faith and profession which I took up first upon her 
" authority. Now I will not presume to say, that the Church 
" is obliged to me for taking this pains, but I must confess 
" that I am not a little obliged to the Church for two things ; 
" both for instructing me in the sincere truth of religion, and 
" for allowing me the liberty and the means to satisfy myself 
" that she has done so ; for whether she had taught me a doe- 
" trine that would bear examination, it had been impossible 
*' for me to know, if I had not examined it. And I am so 
" sure, that I am not the less but the more fast in the com- 
'^ munion of this Church, and in submission to her authority, 
" for having used this liberty, that a man may harangue all 
" day long about the mischiefs of this liberty, and when he 


" has done, I shall need to do no more but to oppose my own 
" experience to his flourishes ; and it shall remain true, that 
" a Church which teaches the truth sincerely, can do herself 
" no greater right than to afford all manner of means and 
" opportunities to her members to examine what she teaches. 
" This, indeed, as well as other good things, may be abused, 
" but they that do abuse it shall have the worst on it, but the 
" Church is clear of all blame. And what our Lord said of 
" Wisdom, will be true of the Church, that she shall be justi- 
" fied of her children. I do not deny that this liberty is very 
" much for the disadvantage of a Church in one case, i. e., if 
" she teaches eri'ors instead of truths, and for doctrines the 
" commandments of men ; for when this comes once to be 
" fully discovered, the discovery makes such a wound in her 
'' as cannot be healed without a reformation, but otherwise 
" she shall linger of it till she dies. And therefore this liberty 
" of private judyment and inquiring into the truth by the Scrip' 
" tares, lays a mighty obligation upon all churches to be honest, 
" I mean upon their spiritual guides; especially since, whether 
" they give this liberty or not, it will be taken more or less ; 
" not all the terrors of the world, nor fraud joined to force, can 

" totally suppress it Upon the whole matter, I can 

" neither see, that the free use of the Scriptures must needs 
" cause schisms, nor that the setting up of an infallible guide 
" must needs prevent them. But 1 am abundantly convinced, 
" that God has left us no infallible judge to determine for us, 
** and that he has left us the Holy Scriptures to be the rule of 
" our faith. I make not the least doubt, that God, for infi- 
" nitely wise and good reasons, has given us these means of 
" coming to the knowledge of the truth, and not the other. 
" I plainly discern this to be one, that the means of instruc- 
" tion and the evidence of truth which God has afforded us, 
" might be a touchstone to distinguish between the sincere and 
" the teachable, between the good and the honest heart on the 
" one side, and the insincere and dishonest on the other. And 
" sure I am, that God has appointed a day of judgment, in 
" which he will proceed according to that difference, and dis- 
" tinguish between these two, by rewarding the one and punish- 


" ing the other .... The Holy Scriptures .... are /A^ 
" only Rule, and will at last prove the only means of ending 
" those controversies that disturb the peace of the Church." ^ 

Having thus endeavoured to show, that Holy Scripture is 
our sole infallible and authoritative Rule of faith, we shall 
now proceed to prove, in like manner, in opposition to the 
doctrine that Tradition or the Church is the infallible and 
therefore authoritative Judge of the meaning of the Divine 
Rule of faith, that Holy Scripture is the sole infallible Judge 
of controversies respecting the truths of revelation.^ 

And here we shall pursue the same course as before, con- 
sidering — 

I. The true meaning and extent of what is here asserted. 

II. The arguments and objections which may be advanced 
respecting it. 

I. As to the true meaning and extent of the assertion that 
Holy Scripture is the sole infallible Judge of controversies 
respecting the truths of revelation. 

By this position, then, we mean, that it is in Holy Scripture 
only that we can meet with any infallible determination respect- 
ing the points in dispute. When controversies arise. Scripture 
only can decide and terminate them ; and if Scripture does not 
terminate them, it is either because they concern things which 
are not there delivered, and which, therefore, do not come to us 
with the authority of divine revelation, or because Scripture is 
misinterpreted ; and in either case there is no further infallible 
authority on earth to appeal to for judgment. 

* On the authority of General Councils and the Rule of faith, by Br. Clagett 
and Mr. Hutcliinson. Lond. 1688. Reprinted in Bishop Gibson's Preserv. Ht, iv. 
c. 2. pp. 169—73. 

2 Strictly speaking, tills point is included in the former, but as some are dis- 
posed to admit in words that Holy Scripture is the sole divinely -revealed Rule, 
but contend that Tradition or the Church is the infallible and authoritative 
expounder of the meaning of that Rule, it is necessary to give a distinct conside- 
ration to this point. And when we say, that Holy Scripture is not only the 
Rule of faith, but the sole hifalhblc Judge of controversies respecting the truths 
revealed by it, it is of course only meant, that its testimony on the point in 
controversy is the only infaUible testimony we can have on the question, in op- 
position to the Popish or Tractarian notions on the subject. 


When, however, we call Scripture a judge, we of course 
mean, so far as any written document of the kind can be a 
judge; and this may be a sufficient answ* to all the objec- 
tions that the Romanists are accustomed to allege on this , 
point ; who, reckoning up all the things that a liviiuj judge 
can do, and showing that some of those things Scripture 
cannot do, draw the conclusion, that therefore Scripture 
cannot perform the office of a judge of controversies. But it 
does not follow, that, because a written law cannot perform 
all that a living judge can do, therefore such a law cannot be 
called, and be to a certain extent, a judge, and, if there be no 
other, the sole judge. No doubt. Holy Scripture cannot pre- 
vent men wrangling on, and a living Judge can sometimes do 
80 by having the power of immediately inflicting punishment 
on any one who distorts the meaning or disputes the justice 
of his Sentence. But the Sentence may be given, the deci- 
sion may be laid down, equally in one case as in the other. 

For instance, take the case of the doctrine of the Trinity. 
One holds one doctrine respecting it, and supports it by 
Scripture; another holds another, and also supports it by 
Scripture. Can Scripture, it may be asked, be the Judge of 
such a controversy ? We reply. It must be so, for we cannot 
get elsewhere any divine or infallible testimony on the sub- 
ject. Nor can it be replied, that in that case there is no 
Judge ; because we know, that Scripture does give a testimony 
and sentence in favour of one and against the other. And 
the only reason why it does not end the controversy is, that 
one side or the other misinterprets the Sentence. Certainly, 
it cannot say, as a living Judge can. You are right and you 
are wrong. But the testimony it bears to the truth is not 
the less decisive, and, to those who are willing to accept it, 
not the less convincing. That it will put an end to the con- 
troversy, is not in this world to be expected. 

It is quite true, that the authorities of every church have a 
subordinate and ministerial authority to judge even in con- 
troversies of faith ; but they do so, not as infallible, but as 
fallible witnesses to what they deem to be the truth. Eveiy 
Church is justified, and more than justified, in laying down a 


Confession of faith which may separate her from unorthodox 
Communions, and kccj) her own clear of vital error. But if 
she knows her duly, she does not do it in the presumptuou* 
spirit of one who challenges infallibility, either from her own 
character, or as a witness of " Tradition." She does not 
claim authority over the consciences of men, but bears her 
testimony to what she believes to be the truth, and requires 
from those who desire to belong to her communion the main- 
tenance of her creed. 

I sec no reason, therefore, why we should not, with the 
Fathers, (as I shall hereafter show,) give this appellation to 
Scripture ; though, if it be made a question of words, wc 
should be quite willing to substitute "standard of judgment," 
or any similar phrase that might be thought more appropriate 
to a written document; or to say with Chillingworth, that it 
is "the Rule to judge controversies by;" only protesting 
against anything else being lifted into the chair thus vacated. 

We are here speaking, of course, of what exists upon earth ; 
for otherwise, and speaking generally, Christ alone, as he is 
the Head of the Church, so is he the Supreme Judge of con- 
troversies in it : and indeed it is on this ground that we give 
to Scripture, as alone infallibly conveying to us his word, the 
place of Supreme Judge on earth ; while we allow to men, in 
some cases, the privilege of being subordinate and ministerial 
judges, so far as respects particular Communions. 

Let us consider, 

II. The arguments and objections which may be advanced 
respecting this tnith. 

(1) From Scripture. 

The foundation upon which this truth rests is, as we have 
seen, briefly this ; That as God is the only infallible Judge of 
controversies in religion, and as his voice can be recognised 
with certainty only in the Holy Scriptures, those Scriptures 
are consequently our only infallible Judge of controversies on 

"What we have here to show, therefore, is^ that they are 
referred to in Scripture as bearing that character, or as being 
of a nature suitable for that purpose. 


Thus, then, are they referred to even in the Old Testament j 
— " When they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have 
familiar spirits . . . should not a people seek unto their God ?" 
And how are they to seek unto their God, to know his will in 
the matter ? By going " to the law and to the testimony *' 
for direction and judgment, for this is the rule by which all 
other informants are to be tried ; and " if they speak not 
according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." 
(Is. XX. 19, 20.) 

Our Lord himself not unfrequently appeals to them as per-* 
forming the office of a judge. " He that believeth not," he 
says, " is condemned already, because he hath not believed in 
the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John iii. 18.) 
How has God thus already condemned such ? By the sen- 
tence recorded in his Scriptures ; as the Apostle says, " The 
" Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by 
" faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe." 
(Gal. iii. 22.) The Scripture is so formed as to act as a judge 
upon earth in such a case, and publish God's Sentence. 

Again, he sends the Sadducees to the Scripture as deter- 
mining the doctrine of the resurrection. '^ As touching the 
" dead, that they rise, have ye not read in the book of Moses, 
" how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God 
" of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob ? 
" He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living : 
" ye therefore do greatly err." (Mark xii. 26, 27.) And in 
like manner he sends the Jews to the Scripture for judgment 
respecting himself, and his claims upon their belief. " Search 
" the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and 
" they are they which testify of me." (John v. 39.) And he 
tells them, that the judgment given by the writings of Moses 
so clearly condemned them for their unbelief, that they might 
be said to accuse them before the Father. " Do not think 
*' that I will accuse you to the Father ; there is one that ac- 
" cuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye be- 
*' lieved Moses, ye would have believed me ; for he wrote of 
" me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe 
" my words?" (John v. 45 — 7.) The judgment given in the 


writings of Moses, then, was sufficiently clear in favour of our 
Lord, in the judgment of God, to make the Jews guilty, if 
they did not so understand them, and receive him of whom 
they testified. Hence it follows, that Scripture may be vari- 
ously interpreted by men, and yet give in the sight of God an 
amply sufficient and clear judgment, to bring those in guilty 
before liim who do not interpret it aright. And the reason is 
plain ; because, in all important points, men are prevented 
only by their own prejudices, corruption, or carelessness, from 
rightly understanding it. 

On another occasion he speaks, if possible, still more clearly 
of the word he had himself delivered, — that word which is 
recorded in the Gospels — as bearing that character. " He that 
" rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one tfiat 
" judgeth him: the word that I have sjjoken, the same shall 
" judge him in the last day." (John xii. 48.) That word we 
possess in the Scriptures. 

Shall we say, then, that the Scriptures containing that 
word are insufficient, and ill calculated to act as a judge now 
to us on earth, when we are told expressly, that that word will 
be our judge at the future day of account ? Is it not equally 
calculated to act as a judge now to us on earth, as it will be 
at the future day of account at the bar of Christ ? And if by 
that word we are to be then judged, then the statements of 
that word are clear and determinate, and sufficient of them- 
selves to determine all controversies on the essentials of the 
gospel at least ; and it will be our wisdom to use it now for 
the same purpose, and " judge ourselves " by it ; making that 
our rule of judgment here, by which we are to be judged here- 
after. And if this is done with simplicity and sincerity, and 
prayer to God for his blessing, we know, from the promises 
of a faithful God, that such an inquirer shall not err funda- 

To these passages we might add those which speak of the 
efficacy and power of God's word in enlightening and influ- 
encing the mind, all tending to show the suitableness of Scrip- 
ture to perform this office. 

Thus, the Apostle Paul speaks of the word of God as 


''effectually working in those that believe/' (1 Thess. ii. 13,) 
and as " quick and p*veiful, and sharper than any two-edged 
" sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and 
" spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of 
" the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Heb. iv. 12.) 

I proceed to notice, 

(2) The arguments and objections which may be derived 
from general considerations. 

First, then, I argue thus : — God alone can infallibly deter- 
mine controversies in religion, but men in general have no 
sufficient certainty of hearing his voice anywhere but in the 
Scriptures; and therefore, the sole infallible Judge of such 
controversies in the present state is Scripture. Even accord- 
ing to the principles of the Tractators, it undeniably follows, 
that if " Tradition " is not the word of God, and that God's 
word alone is infallible, (which, I suppose, will not be dis- 
puted,) whatever cavil may be urged against Scripture aa 
unable to pronounce judgment so as to end controversy, it 
alone can act the part of an infallible Judge in such matters. 
For, all that we have to consider in finding such a judge is, 
first. Where the supreme authority for pronouncing a decision 
rests; and then. How we are to obtain that decision. And if 
we are forced to allow, that such authority is in God alone, 
and that we have no assurance of hearing his voice anywhere 
but in the Scriptures, it necessarily follows, that Scripture 
only can give any infallible determination respecting the point 
in dispute. If there is no decision on the matter recorded 
there, there is no certainly-divine testimony concerning it ; 
and if the matter is not plainly delivered there, it is not plainly 
revealed to us ; and no man can be required to believe more 
than is there said respecting it. 

Man may be the medium through whom a knowledge of 
the determinations of Scripture may be conveyed, i. e. he may 
deliver them to me from Scripture, and point out to me those 
passages upon which his views chiefly rest, and I may be 
brought to the belief of a doctrine upon that testimony ; but 
the proof of the doctrine rests entirely upon the authority of 



Scripture, and not on the testimony of the bearer that such 
and such is the meaning of Scripture, #om whatever wjurcc 
that interpretation may be derived. 

Secondly, — That Scripture is the sole authoritative Judge 
in controversies of faith that respect fundamental points, fol- 
lows from the fact, that there is no other judge whose ortho- 
doxy can be assumed without proof, and consecpicntly without 
our ascertaining, in the first instance, that for which we want 
a judge. 

The catholic consent of the Primitive Church to which our 
opponents send us, is, as we have shown, a mere dream of 
the imagination. The faith of the Catholic Church cannot be 
so adequately witnessed to us as to make any producible re- 
presentation of it an infallible guide. Freedom from funda- 
mental error could only be assumed of the catholic consent of 
the Church, either as the whole body of professing Christians, 
or as the body of true believers — " the blessed company of all 
faithful people." Taking the word " Church " in either of 
these senses, we may justly say, that the catholic consent of 
the Church would be (if we could ascertain it) an infallible 
guide. But in neither of these senses is it attainable. 

And hence, it is absurd to talk of the Church, of any age, 
being an infallible guide to the truth, even as a witness, be- 
cause, taking the word Church in that sense in which alone 
infallibility could be predicated of it, its witness is unattain- 
able, and so cannot be a guide at all to us. 

Nay, even in the highest points, not only is catholic consent 
incapable of proof, but the partial consent adduced is met by 
counter-statements, pleading an opposing witness of equal 

For instance, take the case of Arian, Nestorian, or Pelagian 
errors. Arius, as we have seen, appealed to Antiquity as in 
his favour, and not only were there several dissentients to the 
decision come to at Nice, but not long after, at another Council 
composed of nearly twice as many bishops, the opposite doc- 
trine was maintained. Can we appeal, then, to the decision of 
the Nicene Council as infallible, as binding the conscience to 


belief, as authoritative ? Augustine knew better than to do so. 
When disputing with Maxiniinus the Arian, what is his 
language ? " But now" he says, [i. e., while arguing this ques- 
tion] " neither ought I to briny forward the Nicene Council, nor 
" you that of Ariminum, as if we could thus settle the question. 
" Neither am I bound by the authority of the one, nor you by 
" the authonty of the other. We must argue the matter point 
" with point, cause with cause, reason with reason, by autho- 
" RiTiEs OP Scripture, lOitnesses not belonging to any party, 
" but common to both."^ Was not this, then, to make Scrip- 
ture the Judge of the controversy ? 

Now this decision of the Council of Nice is, perhaps, the 
best entitled of anything that has come down to us from the 
IMmitive Church to be considered as speaking the language 
of the Catholic Church. If, then, even this must be given up, 
as not in itself binding the conscience to belief, is there any- 
thing else that can be said to do so ? 

The case is precisely similar as it respects the Nestorian and 
Pelagian errors. Nestorius appealed to Antiquity, and to this 
day his party form a large episcopal Communion, claiming 
descent from the Apostles as much as any other. With respect 
to Pelagian errors, we have already seen, that Patristical testi- 
mony was appealed to as in their favour, and that, to say the 
least, the appeal was not destitute of foundation. 

AVe must take heed not to be deceived by names and words, 
nor to take it for granted, that this or that body forms " the 
Church," from our having been accustomed to attach that 
title to it. The x\postolic admonition to every man is, " Prove 
all things, hold fast that which is good." It is easy to claim 
a high-sounding name, and then, on the strength of it, 
condemn others. But we must recollect, that the name 
" Church" has been claimed by all parties, and all have 
professed to be attached to and defenders of the doctrines of 

' Sed nunc nee ego Nicseniun nee tu debes Ariminense tanquam pripjudica- 
turus proferre concilium. Nee ego hujus auetoritate, nee tu illius detineris ; 
Script urarum auctoritatibus, non quorumque propriis sed utrisque conimunibuii 
testibus, res cum re, «\ussa cum caussa, ratio ciun ratione concertet. August. 
Contra iluxiuunum Arian. lib. ii. c. 14. § 3. Op. ed. Ben. torn. viii. coL 704. 

K 2 


the Church of Christ, and ahnost uU parties have more or 
less claimed Patristical Tradition as in their favour. When, 
then, we attach the name Church to this or that body, if we 
mean it to apply to one deserving of being followed as vl guide, 
we must have some sufficient reason to give in proof of its 
being entitled to that name ; and what sufficient reason can 
there be, which does not include orthodoxy in the funda- 
mentals of the faith, and orthodoxy that is not overlaid by the 
addition of fundamental errors ? 

All that we can obtain for any age, as the testimony of the 
Church, is the witness of a certain number of individuals or 
representative bodies ; and this witness may, in some cases, 
be entitled to considerable respect, as doubtless it is in the 
case of the Primitive Church ; but in no case can it be autho- 
ritative over the conscience. The orthodoxy of such witnesses 
must be proved before we can accept their testimony as autho- 
ritative, and then, their office oi judge has been forestalled. 

Do we, then, maintain, that we cannot speak of the Uni- 
versal Church having held or ordained this or that ? nor that 
this is an argument in favour of what is so supported ? By 
no means, taking the words in a general sense. But let ua 
understand, what meaning must be affixed to the words, and 
how far the argument is tenable. When we speak thus, we 
speak of that which we hold to be the Universal Church, 
excluding what we reckon heretical Communions ; and more- 
over, of decisions which can only, in a general and popular 
sense, be reckoned decisions of the Universal Church, for the 
proof of their being such is wholly lacking. 

And in matters of discipline and non-essential points of 
faith, much is to be allowed to the authority, not merely of tne 
Universal Church as far as it can be ascertained, but of any 
pure portion of it. The God of peace and order requires this 
of us. We are not to divide and throw into confusion a 
Scriptural Church for the indulgence of our own humours in 
such points. But in fundamental points the case is different. 
When arguing with an Arian, or abstractedly on the subject 
of Arian or other fundamental errors, it is a mere deception to 


talk of the Universal Church being of a contrary mind. We 
must decide these points before we can know who constitute 
the Universal Church, that is, the orthodox Universal Church, 
which alone could be a guide. 

Before we can admit a claim made for any individuals, or 
any body of men, to be a summary Judge of controversies of 
faith, we must ascertain that they are orthodox in the faith, 
and therefore ascertain from an independent source, what the 
orthodox faith is ; after which we need not their decision. 

And still further, if we are looking for a safe guide, we must 
also ascertain, that the fundamentals are not overlaid, as in 
the Church of Rome, Wxih fundamental error, endangering the 
salvation of all who are in her communion; for, as Bishop 
Sanderson says, " The doctrinal errors of the Church of Rome 
" do not directly and immediately overthrow the foundation of 
" faith, as the heresy of the Arian Churches did, but mediately 
" and by necessary coxsequence they do, as in the points of 
" merits, mass, transubstantiation," &c.^ And so Archbishop 
Laud^ " A church may hold the fundamental point literally, 
" and as long as it stays there, be without control, and yet 
" err grossly, dangerously, nay, damnably, in the exposition of 
"it. And this is the Church ok Rome's case.**- And 
therefore he tells us, " There's peril, great peril of damnable, 
" both schism and heresy, and other sin, by living and dying 
"in the Roman faith, tainted with so many superstitions, as 
*' at this day it is, and their tyranny to boot.*' '* I do, indeed, 
" for my part, leaving other men free to their own judgment, 
" acknowledge a possibility of salvation in the Roman Church ; 
" but so as that which I grant to Romanists, is not as they are 
" Romanists, but as they are Christians, that is, as they 
" believe the Creed, and hold the foundation, Christ himself, 
" not as they associate themselves wittingly and knowingly to 
"the gross superstitions of the Romish Church.** "All 
" Protestants unanimously agree in this, that there is great 
"peril of damnation for any man to live and die in the Roman 
" persuasion ; and you are not able to produce any one Pro- 

* Sandehsox's Disc, conceraing the Churclu Lond. 1G88. p. 17. 
' Laxjd'8 Answer to Fisher, § 37, Nu. 5. 


" testant that ever said the contrary. And therefore, that U 
" a most notorious slander, where you say, that they which 
" uflirin this peril of damnation arc contradicted by their own 
" more learned brethren."* Such is the Church of which our 
opponents say, " tFe are at peace with Rurne"^ and call this 
sentiment Anylicanism. 

Where, then, I ask, amidst all this diversity of sentiment, 
this clashing of Fathers and Councils and rival " Churches," 
where is there any secure resting-place for the sole of the foot, 
but in the ark of God's written word ? which, amidst the 
angry waves of controversy, floats calm and uninjured above 
all, bearing over them, in perfect safety, all those who have, 
in reliance upon the divine prorrme, huvibly taken refuge in it ; 
and as the waters of confusion swell around it, is only exalted 
by them to a higher elevation, and more distinctly exhibited 
as the only place of safety and peace. 

Thirdly, — The claims of Scripture to be the sole infallible 
Judge of controversies of faith, are strongly supported by the 
fact, allowed by all, that the words of Scripture alone proceed 
from inspired teachers. 

This concession (which cannot be withheld) is most import- 
ant. For, in the delivery of doctrines, especially those of a 
more mysterious nature, accuracy in the expressions used is 
essential to the conveying accurate ideas to the mind of the 
reader. And when any one who has himself only a certain 
portion of light with respect to them, attempts to convey a 
notion of them to others, even though he may have been 
correctly instructed in them, he is continually liable to be 
using expressions open to misconstruction and capable of an 
unorthodox sense. It is more than probable, that he may 
have in his eye some error opposed to the truth which he is 
delivering, and, to avoid the error, he uses language open to 
error of an opposite kind. This is a defect which we con- 
tinually meet with in the Fathers, and in the points which 
were the chief subjects of dispute in the Early Church, viz., 
those connected with the person of Christ. The consequence 
is, that it is impossible to prove their consent in them, even 

^ lb. § 35, No. 6. * Newmas's Lect. on Kom. &c. p. 253. 


where tliey may have consented. In the doctrines of religion, 
therefore, we want the expressions dictated by the Divine 
mind, because in them only we have a representation of those 
doctrines which we can be sure is free from error, and which 
needs only a strictly /oir interpretation to lead us to a know- 
ledge of the truth. Hence St. Paul reminds us, that when 
the Apostles delivered the mysteries of God, they spoke " not 
" in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the 
*' Holy Ghost teacheth.^' (I Cor. ii. 13.) These expressions we 
can find in Scripture only. It is not pretended, that Patris- 
tical Tradition can furnish us with the expressions of the oral 
teaching of the Apostles. And hence Scripture has peculiar 
claims on this ground to be considered the final and sole 
infallible Judge of controversies of faith. 

But our opponents have various objections to ursre on this 

First, — The Scripture cannot be the sole Judge of con- 
troversies, because it does not cany with it its own inter- 
pretation ; which, in other words, is saying, that, even iu the 
fundamental points of faith, it is not intelligible. 

" The Bible," says JNIr. Newman, " is not so written as to 
force its meaning upon the reader/' and therefore the notion 
of " the Bible without note or comment being the sole 
" authoritative Judge in controversies of faith, is a self- 
" destructive principle."^ "They must either give up their 
" maxim about the Bible and the Bible only, or they must 
" give up the Nicene formulary. The Bible does not cany 
" with it its own interpretation."^ " That Scripture," says 
Bellarmine, " is not the Judge, is evident ; because it admits 
" different meanings, and cannot tell us which is the right 
" one."3 

Now here Mr. Newman has almost saved me the trouble of 
making any reply, for he has supplied something very like one 
himself; for, as he justly remarks elsewhere, — " It surely may 
" be maintained, not only that the Scriptures have but one direct 
" and unchangeable sense, but that it is such as in all greater 

> Lect. pp. 34, 5. - lb. p. 292. 

Hk m. De Verb. Dei, lib. iii. c. 9. 


" m&iters to msLVe a forcible appeal to the mind, when fairly 
" jMit before it, and to impress it with a conviction of its being 
" the true one." (p. 1(55.) Truly so ; and 1 think it might 
be considered a sufficient answer to the objection ; for though 
there is the saving clause — "when fairly put before the mind" — 
yet surely this " forcible appeal" and " impression conveying 
conviction," can only be supposed in the case of Scripture 
distinctly and clearly pointing out its own sense to a careful 
reader ; for if I say, that such a book teaches this or that doc- 
trine, and when the book is perused, its teaching is so in favour 
of that doctrine, as to make a " forcible appeal to the mind" 
of men, " and impress it with a conviction" of its being there 
taught, that doctrine must be clearly pointed out there ; and 
consequently, in the case of any man of sufficient education 
to know the meaning of its words, there can be no need of any 
authoritative interpreter, or of my insisting upon being heard 
first, lest he should attach a different meaning to them. At 
any rate, it is only necessary that its truths be " fairly put 
before the mind" to enable it to act as Judge, and that is the 
duty of the ministers of Christ. 

But further ; upon what is this objection grounded ? It 
stands upon the tacit supposition, that the fundamental doc- 
trines of the faith are so doubtfully stated in Scripture, that 
men may with reason attach different meanings to the state- 
ments there made respecting them. Now this, we maintain, 
is utterly at variance with the objects which the Evangelists 
had in view in penning the Gospels, and therefore contradicted 
by the fact of their being the subjects of divine inspiration for 
the purpose of enabling them to communicate the faith clearly 
and faithfully to mankind. The diversity of sentiment pre- 
vailing among men on points of faith, as it respects the fun- 
damentals, arises, we contend, not from the language of Scrip- 
ture being dubious, — for in all such points (as the Fathers 
witness) it is clear and plain, — but from the preconceived 
notions and prejudices of men, who come not to the Scriptures 
w ith humility and simplicity of mind, seeking the truth in 
sincerity. These truths are stated in Scripture, so as to 
convince all who ai-e willing to receive them ; and such only 


are in a condition to receive them, from whatever quarter 
they may be proposed to them. They are placed before men, 
as our Lord's teaching and miracles were before the Jews. 
There is sufficient evidence for the conviction of all who are 
open to the reception of the truth. The word of God makes 
a "forcible appeal " to the conscience in behalf of the truth. 
And this is all the force which comes from a Divine source. 
And the ti-uth having thus been clearly placed before men, 
they are responsible to God for their conduct with respect to 
it. Nor does their rejection of it, and misinterpretation of the 
Scriptures to meet their own views, any more prove that the 
Scriptures are insufficient to convey the truth to the minds of 
impartial men, than the rejection of our Lord by the Jew8, 
and the different opinions entertained respecting him, prove 
that he gave insufficient evidence of the truth of his divine 

And when Mr. Newman says, that " we must give up our 
" maxim about the Bible and the Bible only, or we must give 
" up the Nicene fornmlary,'' he, in fact, says that the Bible 
does not speak the language of the Nicene formulary so as to 
give any proof of its truth ; which leaves to that formulary 
nothing but an uncertain tradition to rest upon, and thereby 
overthrows the only sure foundation upon which the orthodox 
faith is founded. 

And still further, they who will persist in perverting Scripture 
to speak their own views, will as readily make Antiquity speak 
them too, when it is worth their while to do so. And of this we 
have, as has been already observed, divers pregnant instances. 

Let us hear our opponent's witness. Bishop Stillingfleet. 
" They [i. e., the Romanists] grant,'' he says, " that there is a 
" great difl'erence in the points contained in Scripture, of 
" which some are allowed to be simply necessary to salvation, 
" as those which are required to baptism ; and Bellarmine 
" yields, • That all these points are certainly contained in 
" Scripture, and were the things which the Apostles con- 
" stantly preached to all people ;' who cannot be denied to 
" have been capable of understanding these things, when they 
"heard them preached; and how could they lose the capacity 


" of understanding them, when they were written ? And if they 
*' might still understand them, then the Seripture lisith no 
" such mysterious knots, but all points necessary to salvation 
" may be understood by the people. So tliat as to tficse points 
" '>f greatest importance, the Scripture must he left as a Ifjacij 
" to all Christians, and not only to the guides of the Church, 
" But J. S. craves leave to explain himself, and it is great 
" pity to deny it him. * Mistake me not,' saith he, * I do not 
" mean Scripture's letter is not clear in such passages as 
" concern morality .... but in dogmatical points or tenets 
" which are 8j)iritual and oftentimes profound mysteries, as a 
" Trinity, Christ's Godhead, the real presence of his body in 
" the sacrament, and such like, and in such as these, our rule 
" is not intelligible enough to keep the followers of it from 
" erring.* [Precisely the argument of the Tractarians.] I 
'* answer. Either the Apostles preached these points to all 
** persons as necessary to their salvation, or they did not. If 
" not, how come they to be necessary to be believed now ? If 
" they did, then the people were capable of understanding 
" them when they heard them ; and therefore may as well 
" understand them when they read them. [Manifestly taking 
" it for granted, that they are as fully and clearly delivered in 
" the Scriptures, as in the oral preaching of the Apostles.] I 
" do not mean the manner as to the Trinity and Incarnation, 
" (as to Transubstantiation, I know nothing in Scripture 
" about it, either as to thing or manner,) but the revelation 
" of such a doctrine. So that if these points be owned to be 
" necessaiy to salvation, they must be so plain, that men may 
" understand their duty to believe them. For that is the 
" bound I keep myself within, that all things necessary to 
" salvation are so plain, that we may be certain of our duty 
" to believe them ; but if not, we may en* without prejudice 
" to our salvation/' ^ 

Secondly, it is objected, that Scripture cannot be the sole 
authoritative Judge of controversies, because, in all the prin- 
cipal controversies of faith, the meaning of Seripture is the 

' Stillixgfleet's Discourse concerning the nature and grounds of the cer- 
tainty of faith, pp. 81—83. 


great point in controversy, and both sides claim Scripture as 
in their favour ; and thus no controversy can be decided. 

" The Bible," says Mr. Newman, " is not so written as to 
" force its meaning upon the reader; no two Protestant 
" sects can agree together whose interpretation of tfte Bible 

"is to be received." " Accordinijly" "the notion of 

" the Bible, without note or comment, being the sole autho- 
" ritative Judge in controversies of faith, is a self-destructive 
" principle." (pp. 34, 5.) And so among Bellarmine's 
reasons why Scripture cannot be the Judge, one is this, that 
"the question is concerning the interpretation of Scripture, 
and it cannot interpret itself." (De Verb. Dei, lib. iii. c. 9.) 

But this objection proves nothing more than that there are 
persons who misinterpret Scripture. It is no proof, that it is 
not a vei-y sufficient judge of such controversies; and still less 
any proof, that it is not the sole infallible judge that God has 
given us. Nay, when we consider how many feelings there are 
in the natural mind, tending to alienate it from the love of 
the truth as revealed in the gospel, and how many impedi- 
ments there are to a reception of it, can it be a matter of 
surprise to us, that a revelation, the true meaning of which 
has so much opposition to contend with, should be variously 
interpreted? its mysteries explained away, and its truths 
lowered to the standard of men's corrupt imagination ? And 
is it to be argued, that, because of this, that is, because men 
cannot be brought to see and confess the truths there revealed, 
the revelation is insufficient to show men the truth ? The 
question is, not whether men interpret the Bible variously, 
but whether, that being the case, the fault is not in man, and 
not in the Bible being fairly open to different interpretations 
in the essentials of the faith ? 

Let us consider the consequence of such reasoning as our 
opponents here adopt. It follows from it, that on none of all 
the various points that heretics have ever controverted, is 
Scripture clear enough to decide the dispute. For instance. 
Scripture tells us, that " the "Word was made flesh, and dwelt 
among us ;" from which impartial men would, we suppose, be 


niady to think, tliat the Scripture plainly declared thereby, at 
least as much as this, that Christ appeared in human nature. 
J3ut no, we must not draw any such conclusion; for the 
Valentinians and others did not receive this truth, and gave 
another interpretation to such Scriptures; and therefore we 
must not appeal to Scripture as dctcnnijiiny this point. And 
80 we might run through almost every truth in the Christian 
system ; and, because it has been denied by sonic who have 
professed to receive the Scriptures, say, that the Scriptures do 
not distinctly determine the matter. 

Thus again, for instance. Scripture says, that " The Word 
was God," &c. Even Arians, therefore, conclude from this 
passage, that Christ must be, in some sense at least, God. 
But the Socinians explain such texts so as to comport with a 
denial of the divinity of the Son in any sense. Hence, say 
our opponents, we can draw no certain conclusions from such 
texts. That is, if a man chooses to assert that two and two 
make five, we must obtain some infallible mathematician to 
decide between us, before it can be determined satisfactorily 
that two and two make four. And what is the triumphant 
reply of the Socinian ? He will say, "You grant, then, that 
" the Scriptures may not unreasonably or absurdly be con- 
" sidered to have the meaning which I have attributed to 
" them : I am content, therefore ; for I leave Tradition to 
" those who like it, and abide by what I have good reason to 
" believe to be the word of God. Give me the Bible, and I 
" will willingly give you Tradition." 

Nay, further, as we have so often had occasion to observe, 
if we go to Tradition, so do others. The Arians, the Nesto- 
rians were loud in their appeal to Tradition ; and some of 
the orthodox have admitted, that their appeal was not with- 
out reason. 

"In the Samosatenian, Arian, Pelagian, Nestorian, and 
Eutychian controversies," says Bishop Stillingfleet, "neither 
" of the parties disowned Scripture or Tradition ; and those 
" who were justly condemned, pretended still to adhere to 
" both. And if such flames could not be prevented so much 


" nearer the Apostles* times by the help of Tradition, what 
" reason can there be to expect it so long after ? " ^ 

Mr. Newman himself allows, that the Judgment of the 
Fathers may be most easily evaded or perverted, if there be 
the inclination to do so ; being forced thereto by the use made 
of the Fathers by the Romanists. " Romanists," he says, 
"are obliged by their professions to appeal to Antiquity, and 
" they therefore do so. But enough has been said already to 
" suggest, that where men are indisposed towards such an 
" appeal, where they determine to be captious, and take 
" exceptions, and act the disputant and sophist rather than 
" the earnest inquirer, it admits of easy evas^iun, and may be 


In other words, where men are so inclined, the Fathers may 
be alleged in support of opposite views as well as the Scrip- 
tures. How is it, then, that they are able to decide contro- 
versies any more than the Scriptures? The Nicene Creed 
itself has received an unorthodox interpretation.^ The fact 
is, that to attempt to bind heresy by words, is as useless as to 
try to bind it with chains. 

The Romanists, seeing all this, urge the necessity of some 
infallible judge being ever present with the Church to decide 
what Scrij)ture and " Tradition " do really deliver ; and, upon 
the principle of our opponents, — that nothing is clear, nor 
can be a rule of faith or judge of controversies, about the 
meaning of which men disagree, — there is, no doubt, a need 
of some court of appeal of that kind.^ And our opponents, 
though they would hardly admit that they have embraced 
this doctrine, yet often practically come very near it. I say 
often, because their language, and especially that of Mr. 
Newman, is so contradictory, and assumes such opposite 
forms, as to be perfectly Protean. But, to avoid the necessity 
of a direct assertion of the infallibility of the present Church 

^ STiLLiNGFLKiT'fl Discourie on the nature and grounds of the certainty of 
faith, p. 111. 

- See Dcpis's Eccles. Hist. (Dublin ed.) vol. i. p. 655. col. 2. sub fin., and 
the works of Whistox. 

* And of this Mr. Newman before long became oon\'inced. 


iu delivering the testimony of Tradition, they itigcniously try 
to get over the difficulty, by declaring that " Tradition " is 
perfectly clear and indisputable, " a fact obvious to the in- 
telligence of inquirers," when the only fact certain is, that 
people are all at variance about it. 

Most justly, however, has an able Roman Catholic writir, 
quoted in a former page,' observed, when defending the posi- 
tion, that " some controversies of relit/ion may be decided by the 
Holy Scripture alone" (instancing, among others, that "against 
" the Socinians, that Christ had a being before he was con- 
" ceived of the Blessed Virgin,") — " If controversies were not 
" decided but only when they are ended, few would be decided 
" by the Scripture alone. For it seldom happens, that cla- 
" mours and debates arc silenced by being condemned. Much 
" less can this be expected from the word of God alone. For 
" whilst men have their passions about them, they will either 
" pronounce the Scripture itself apocryphal, or put it upon 
" the rack that it may not bring them in guilty. A disjmte is 
" decided, when the case is fairly and peremptorily judf/ed by 
" due authority. But it ends not commonly till the disputants 
"please. And it seldom or never comes to this, till those 
" that are iu the wrong be either divested of their passions or 
" DIRECTED BY FEAR." [AVhich is truc cuough, and so the 
Romanists take the latter course for ending controversies.] 
. . . ." The Socinians, (if sincere,) without seeing their error, 
" give a forced interpretation to all the texts of Scripture 
" which prove the immortality of human souls, and that the 
" Word had a being before it was made flesh. But, in rigour, 
'' a controversy is then decided, when nothing but a strong 
" prejudice can hinder a man from seeing that it is really 
" determined. For a trifling reply is no reply at all." To 
which he adds, — " Hence Dr. Stillingfleet's exceptions against 
" all Scripture proofs, for the unerring authority of the Catho- 
" lie Church in necessaries, are no demonstration that this 
" point is not decided by the Scripture." - 

• Dr. Hawaedine. See above, vol. i. pp. 102, 103. 

2 Hawaedike's The rule of faith truly stated. 1721. 12mo.R. iii. pp. 290—295. 


The last paragraph will, perhaps, explain how it happened, 
that he came to make remarks so adapted for the confutation 
of one of the favourite arguments of his own party; but they 
are perfectly just, and doubly forcible from the mouth of a 

And we find here a very sufficient reply to the whole of 
11. II. *s elaborate ironical "Plea of the Socinian," in his 
"Guide in Controversies;" for the whole of it amounts to 
this, — that, upon the Protestant principles, the Sociniau will 
always have something to say for himself, for he will aver, that 
he has read the Scriptures, and they appear to him to favour 
his view, &c. &c., and consequently that the Romish mode of 
settling the dispute will alone silence him. I answer. What 
then ? Our object is, not to silence, but to convince. And does 
it show, that the controversy is not decided, because the 
Sociuian declares, that he is not convinced ? And I the 
rather notice this, because our opponents often use the same 

That the Scripture, therefore, cannot be expected to end 
controversies, that is, to put a stop to them, is most true; 
nor will anything else of the kind, as the declaration of the 
Apostle, — "There must be heresies," (1 Cor. xi. 19,) — may 
teach us. There is but one way of ending controversies, 
and that it is to be hoped will evermore be left in the hands 
of Rome. To end them by persuading all men of the 
truth, is a work which One only can perform, even that 
omnipotent Spirit who alone can give the spiritual discern- 
ment necessary to enable men rightly to discern spiritual 
things. (1 Cor. ii. 14.) 

Still further; we find that the very hearers themselves of 
our Lord and his Apostles, who possessed the reality of this 
Tradition to which we are referred, in all its fulness and 
purity, propagated divers errors as part of the Christian faith. 
If, then, a reference to the Bible in support of error proves 
that the Bible does not plainly state the truth, it follows, by 
the same reasoning, from the above fact, that the truth was 
never plainly delivered at all ; for the argument is, that when 


truth is plainly delivered, every man who hears must receive 
and embrace it, and cannot, through prejudice or any other 
cause, distort what is delivered to a different meaning from 
the one intended ; which is just the old llomish argument, 
that " men never question things that are evident ;"^ to which 
Bishop Stillingfleet very justly replies, that " there may be 
sufficient evidence where all men are not persuaded by it." ^ 

Nay, more ; this very objection appears to me to support 
the view for which we contend. For the fact that Christians 
are so divided as to the meaning of the Scriptures, while they 
all agree as to the inspiration of the Scriptures, seems at once 
to point out the Scriptures as the sole infallible guide. For, 
they who are so divided in opinion among themselves cannot 
be our guide ; and if we are compelled to make a selection 
from among them, how can we do it but by the guidance 
of the inspired volume ? There is no note, independent of 
doctrine, by which we can ascertain who are the genuine fol- 
lowers of Christ. With one of our opponents' own most 
learned witnesses (Bishop Morton), then, we say, that this 
is precisely the reason why we must have recourse to the 
Scriptures ; " we cast our eye unto Scripture the pole-star, 
especially in so tempestuous a night of opposite contentions." ^ 

The Holy Scriptures have evidences sufficient to convince 
the reason of every man that they come from God. Moreover, 
all the different sects of Christians agree in this. They disagree 
as to the meaning of the Scriptures, and as to the oral teach- 
ing of the Apostles, but they agi-ee in referring to the Scriptures 
as the word of God. Here, then, we are on sure ground ; and 
every man, conscious that he will have to answer before God 
as an individual, has to inquire, what the Scriptures reveal to 
him as the way of salvation. 

Even in civil matters we are bound to a certain extent to 
exercise our private judgment as to what is the law of the land. 
Suppose, for instance, a case of disputed succession or such- 

* Labyrinthus Cantuar. p. 51. 

' Stillingfleet's Rational Account, &c. p. 105. 

' Mobton's Cath. Appeal, ii. 7. 4 10. pp. 175, 176. 


like, in which the Acts of Parliament relating to the question 
received from the judges and men learned in the law different 
interpretations. Whatever our qualifications for judging of 
their meaning might be, we should be driven to the necessity 
of exercising our private judgment upon the meaning of those 
Acts, unless we chose to be driven like sheep by one party or 
another, because they declared that they were the most nume- 
rous, or chose to assert that they were infallible. Now this is 
a veiy similar case to that before us. Our opponents maintain, 
that we must go to a certain body among professing Christians 
to tell us what is the meaning of the word of God, and receive 
their interpretation as infallible, because that word is interpreted 
in various ways. It appears to us, that this is the very reason 
why we should not take the interpretation of any set of men 
as infallible, but are of necessity compelled, as reasonable 
creatures responsible to God, to exercise our private judgment 
in the matter. 

The very objection, then, made against the Scripture being 
taken as our Rule and Judge, from the fact that men differ in 
their interpretation of it, is the best argument that can be 
adduced in favour of its being so. 

Let us again hear our opponents' witness. Bishop Stilling- 
fleet, on this point. " If Christ be the eternal Sou of God in 
" opposition to heathen deities, and we can know him by 
" Scripture to be so, then we may as well know him to be 
*' the eternal Son of God in opposition to Ariaus and Socini- 
" ans. If, against the heathens, we can prove from Scripture, 
" that the Word was made flesh, why will not this as well hold 
" against Nestorians and Eutychians ? And so the Scripture 
" becomes a very sufficient Rule to distinguish light and darkness 
" in such points among Christians too. For is it ever the less fit 
" to be a Rule because both parties own it ? * But they differ 
" about the sense of it, and therefore controversies can never 
" be ended by it.* If Church-history deceive us not, the 
" greatest controversies were ended by it, before General 
" Councils were heard of, and more than have been since. 
'* Many of those we read of in the first ages were quite laid 



" asleep, as Tlicodoret observes (Ilacrct. Fal). 1. 2. 3.) ; but 
" since Church-authority interposed ilk the most reasonable 
" manner, some diffcrenres have been perpetuated, as appears 
" by the Nestorian and Eutychian controversies. I do not 
" blame the authority of Councils, proceeding as they ttien 
** did by the Rule of Scriptures, but the event showed, that the 
" most probable means are sometimes very ineffectual for 

** ending controversies It is possible to stop men's 

** mouths by force and power, but nothing brings men to a 
" true satisfaction but inward conviction as to the true sense 
" of Scripture, and there can be no rational certainty as to 
" these points without it. If controversies be not ended, let 
" us not blame the wisdom of Providence, for God doth not 
" always appoint the means most efTectual in our judgment, 
" but such as are most suitable to his own design. And we see 
" reason enough to blame the folly and weakness, the preju- 
" dice and partiality, the wilfulness and obstinacy of mankind, 
*' and till human nature be brought to a better temper, we 

" may despair of seeing any end to controversies He 

** saith, * Scripture is not our distinguishing rule of faith, but 
" our own particular judgments about Scripture ; for that which 
" distinguishes my rule from that of the most abominable 
" heresies, can only be my own judgment upon the letter of 
** Scripture, and wriggle which way I will, there it will and 
" must end at last.' I wish Mr. S. had been a little better 
" conversant in the old disputes about certainty, for it would 
" have saved me the trouble of answering some impertinent 
" objections, such as this before us. For they would have 
** been thought mean logicians who could not put a difference 
" between the rule of judgment and the judgment which a man 
'' made according to the rule. Suppose the question were 
" about sense, whether that were a certain rule or not to 
" judge by ; and Epicurus should affirm it, and say, he so 
" firmly believed it, that he judged the Sun to be no bigger 
" than he seemed to his senses ; would not he have been 
" thought ridiculous who should have said this fancy of 
" Epicurus was his rule ? The rule he went by was in itself 


" certain, but he made a wrong judgment upon it; but that 
" was not hi3 rule. So it is here. IFe declare the Scripture 
" to be our only certain and standing rule whereby we are to 
" jadye in matters of faith; and we understand it as well as 
" we can, and form our judgments by it ; but doth it hence 
" follow, that our judgment is our rule ? .... He objects, 
" ' That our people do not make Scripture the rule of their 
" faith, not one in a million relying upon it.* .... Have 
" they, then, any other rule of faith which they rely upon ? 
" What is it, I pray ? Is it the Church's infallibility ? No. 
" Is it Pius the Fourth's Creed ? No, truly ; ' while they are 
" children, they believe Tradition.* Now, I think, J. S. hath 
" hit it. Tradition is, indeed, a rule of faith fur children, who 
" are very apt simply to believe their fathers and teachers. But 
" suppose they come to years of discretion, what rule of faith 
" have they then ? Have they a judgment of discretion then ? 
"... Whatever he insinuates as to our people, I have reason 
" to believe far better of them ; and that all those who mind 
" their salvation, do seriously read and consider the Holy Scrip- 
" tares as the Rule of their faith. But if iu matters of opinion, 
" or in doubtful or obscure places, they make use of the skill 
" and assistance of their teachers, wherein are they to blame ? 
" The Scripture is still their Rule ; but the help of their teachers 
" is for the better understanding it. And cannot our logician 
" distinguish between the Rule of faith and the helps to under- 
" stand it ? Suppose, now, a mother or a nurse should quit 
" ' honest Tradition,* as J. S. here calls it, and be so ill in- 
" clincd as to teach children to s])ell and to read in the New 
" Testament, and by that means they come by degrees to un- 
'^ derstand the doctrines which Christ preached, and the mira- 
*' cles which he wrought, and from thence to believe in Christ, 
" and to obey his commands, I desire to know into what these 
" persons do resolve their faith. Is it indeed into those who 
" taught them to read, or into the New Testament as the 
" ground of their faith, when they have been all along told that 
"the Scripture alone is the word of God, and what - 
" ever they are to believe, it is because it is contained therein y 

L 2 


" And so, by whatever means they come to understand the 
" Scripture, it is that alone they take fitr the Rule and foumla- 
" tion of their faith. . . . IVe never require them to trust wholly 
" to our jud(jnientSf hut we yive them our best assistance, and 
" call in the old interpreters of tlie Church, and we desire 


" DIVINE ASSISTANCE for Settling their minds. . . . ' But sup- 
" pose/ saith Mr. S., * that one of my own flock should tell 
" me, that I have erred in interpreting Scripture, he desires 
" to know what I would say to him/ This is a very easy 
" question, and soon answered. I would endeavour to con- 
" vince him as well as I could. * And is that all V And 
" what would J. S. do more ? Would he tell him he was 
" infallible ? I think not ; but only as ' honest Tradition' 
" makes him so, and how far that goes towards it J shall exa- 
" mine afterwards. Well ; but suppose ' John Biddle, against 
" the Minister of his parish and the whole Church of Eng- 
" land to boot, understands Scripture to be plainly against a 
" Trinity and Christ's divinity/ And it is but fair for me to 
" suppose him maintaining his heresy against J. S., and let 
" any one judge whether of us be more likely to convince 
" him. He owns the Scripture, and confesses if we can prove 
" our doctrine from thence, he will yield ; but he laughs at 
" oral Tradition, and thinks it a jest for any one to prove 
" such a doctrine by it. And truly, if it were not for the 
" proofs from Scripture, I do much question whether any 
" argument from mere Tradition could ever confute such a 
" one as John Biddle. But when we offer such proofs as are 
" acknowledged to be sufficient in themselves, we take the 
" only proper way to give him reasonable satisfaction. ' Sup- 
" pose he will not be convinced ?' Who can help that ? 
" Christ himself met with wilful and obstinate unbelievers. 
" And W'as this any disparagement to his doctrine ? God 
" himself hath never promised to cure those who shut their 
" eyes against the light. ... I had said many years ago, 'That 
" the Scriptures being owned as containing in them the whole 
" will of God, so plainly revealed that no sober inquirer can miss 


" of what is necessary fur salvation, there can be no necessity 
" supposed of an iufalliUe society of men, either to attest or 
" explain these writings among Christians, any more than 
" there was, for some ages before Christ, of such a body of 
" men among the Jews to attest or explain to them the 
" writings of Moses and the Prophets/ And where lies the 
" heresy or danger of this doctrine ? If I said, that no sober 
" inquirer can miss of things necessary to salvation in Scrip- 
" ture, it is no more than St. Chrysostom, St. Augustine, 
" Aquinas, and other schoolmen had said before me. ... I 
" shall now sum up my answer in these particulars. I. Every 
" Christian, as such, is bound to inquire after the true way to 
" salvation, and hath a capacity of judging concerning it. 
" IT. Every Christian, proceeding according to the best rules 
" of judging, hath reason to receive the Scripture as the Rule 
" of his faith. III. The Scripture is so plain in all ne ee$$ari e$, 
" and God hath promised such assistance to them that sincerely 
" seek it, that none who do so, shall want the knowledge of such 
" things as are necessary to their salvation. IV. JVhen any- 
" thing is offered as necessary to be believed in order to salvation, 
" every Christian hath a right and liberty of judging, whether 
" it can be proved by the Scripture to be so necessary or not. 
" V. We do not allow to particular persons the same faculty of 
" judging in doubtful points of controversy which we do as to 
" matters that immediately concern their salvation. VI. No 
" pretence of infallibility or authority can take away that right 
" of judging tchich was allowed them by the Apostles whose 
" authority was infallible. VII. This right of judging doth 
" not exclude the Church's due authority as to matters of 
" faith and controversies of religion (as it is declared Art. 20 
" of our Church) ; but all that we now plead for, is not any 
" authority as to others, but a right of judging as to them- 
" selves in matters that concern their salvation. VIII. The 


" MisE OF Divine assistance which makes their faith 



" EPFECT. . . . The most certain way we now have to know what 
" doctrine the Apostles tunght is hij their writinys, since they 
" taiujht and wrote the same doctrine, and we are certain we 
" have the doctrine they wrote; hut we have no other way to 


" ture being our sole and entire Rule of faith, a\\ matters 
" necessary to salvation must be supposed to be contained 
" therein. . . . The point, then, between us is, whether the Scrip- 
" ture were left only to the Church to interpret it to the people 
" in all points, or whether it were intended for the general good 
" of the whole Church, so as thereby to direct themselves 
" in their way to heaven, and, eonscqueutly, whether it may 
" not be opened and understood by all persons in matters 
" that are necessary to their salvation. , . . They cannot deny, 
" that the Scripture was designed to be a certain and infal- 
" lible Rule of faith to all. ... If a rule be in itself certain, 
" and be certainly received for a rule, that is surely enough 
" to make it a rule to a man ; but it is not necessary to the 
" being of a rule, that a man can never deviate from it by his 
" own fault. For there is no intellectual rule can be assigned, 
" but it is possible for a free agent to deviate from, although 
" he do at the same time profess it to be his rule. Do not all 
" Christians agree, the commands of Christ to be an infallible 
" rule of life ? And J. S., by his admirable logic, will either 
" prove this not to be a rule, or that it is impossible for men 
" to sin. . . . Persons may own the Scripture to be a most cer- 
" tain and infallible Rule as to truth and falsehood, and they 
" are sure, while they effectually regulate themselves by it, 
" they can never err ; but while they profess to do it, they 
" may. So that all Mr. S.'s subtilty vanishes into nothing by 
" so plain and easy a distinction. Therefore, 1 am still of the 
" mind that a rule of faith is that whereby we are to 


• Stillingfleet's Discourse ccnc. the nature and grounds of the certainty 
of faith, pp. 51—80. 


Thirdly, — It is objected, that, from the variety of opinions 
maintained as to the meaning of Scripture, it follows, that if 
Scripture is the sole infallible Judge, having authority over 
the consciences of men, the Church would be thrown into 
confusion and disorder.^ 

Here, again, the objection does not reach far enough to be 
of any use ; it shows, at most, only the inconveniences that 
might result from Scripture being the sole Judge. 

But further, we deny that such inconveniences do result 
from it. The objection rests upon the tacit supposition, that 
a Church cannot justly excommunicate those who deny the 
fundamentals of the faith or maintain fundamental errors, 
unless it possesses in one way or another sohjc infallible and 
authoritative judge besides the Scripture to deteiininc wiih 
authority the meaning of Scripture. This sentiment is in 
terms avowed by Mr. Newman ; yes, and even professedly 
deduced from an Article of our Church, which, as his own 
favourite witness Leslie has already informed him, means 
nothing of the kind. "In the 20th Article," he says, "we 
** arc told, that the Church has * authority in controversies of 
" faith.\ . . . But how can she have this authority, unless she 
" be certainly true in her declarations ?. . . . To say the Church 
" has authority, and yet is not true, [i. e., certainly or infal* 
" libly true,] as far as it has authority, were to destroy liberty 
" of conscience ; which Protestantism, in all its forms, holds 
" especially sacred ; it were to substitute something besides 
" truth as the sovereign lord of conscience, which would 
" be tyranny. If this Protestant principle is not surrendered 
" in the Article, which no one supposes it to be, the Church 
*' is, to a certain point, there set forth as the organ or repre- 
" sentative of truth ; and its teaching is identified with it." 
(pp. 226, 7.) So that the Protestant principle oi private judg- 
ment assumes, that " the Church" is " certainly true" in her 
declarations ; and therefore, as " the organ of truth," is " the 
SOVEREIGN LORD OF CONSCIENCE ;" and " the Church" must 

^ See Newmas's Lect. on Bom. kc. p. 34^ kc. ; awJ Bellabh. De Verb. 
Dei, iii. 9. 


be infallible in her declarations, because otherwise she would 
have no right to be (as it is here assumed she is) " the 
sovereign lord of conscience." 

Now, did it never strike Mr. Newman, that the authorities 
of a Church may have a ministerial authority over the mem- 
bers of that Cliurch, though they do not thrust themselves 
into the throne of God, as " the sovereign lord oj conscience ;" 
and that, by that ministerial authority, the Church may be 
preserved pure, and heretics and offenders cut off from its 
communion, quite as well as if they claimed higher authority, 
and boasted of themselves as being an infallible guide ? 

They to whom the government of any Church is entrusted, 
are bound to preserve it from the infection of fundamental 
error, by the administration of discipline ; to cut off obstinate 
heretics from its communion ; and, above all things, not to 
permit those who hold what it deems to be fundamental 
errors to minister in it. Hence our Lord says to the Church 
of Thyatira, " I have a few things against thee ; because 
" thou sitfferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a 
" prophetess, to teach and to seduce my 8er>ants to commit forni- 
" cation, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols." (Rev. ii. 20.) 
But, for this there is no need, either that it should be 
infallible, or that it should possess in Patristical Tradition an 
infallible guide. It acts as an assembly of fallible beings, 
responsible to God for the support and maintenance of his 
truth, as far as the moral influence of its verdict can extend ; 
and responsible also for that verdict being such as is authorized 
by the revelation God has given us. Eveiy faithful Church 
is a witness for God, and can bear witness as well and as 
successfully to the truth, by a plain and modest assertion of 
it, as by any presumptuous claim to infallibility. But it 
must be remembered, that every individual is also responsible 
to God for what he believes ; and that God has not left him 
altogether to the teaching of man, but has given him certain 
inspired writings containing a revelation of the truth; and 
that while men are at variance respecting the meaning of 
those writings, they all agree, that those writings are inspired. 


and contain that doctrine according to which he is to be 
judged by Christ hereafter. 

Our opponents argue as if Scripture was addressed merely 
to the pastors of the Church to tell them how they are to 
teach ; whereas it is addressed to mankind at large ; and is a 
universal gift, for the use of which all are accountable. Con- 
sequently, however right it may be for a man to use all the 
helps he can obtain for ascertaining the meaning of those 
Scriptures, he is responsible to God, as one who has possessed 
in them an infallible declaration of God's will, and therefore 
as one bound not to depart from their apparent meaning in 
vital points ; and to follow this or that body, in such points, 
only so far as they appear to him to follow the Scriptures. 
Men have not been left to the pastors of the Church to teach 
them the faith ; otherwise the case would be, in some resj>ect8, 
diflferent. God has given them another guide, and one which 
all parties allow to be infallible, viz., the Scriptures; and one, 
therefore, which they are responsible for using, in preference 
to everything which may be proposed to them through the 
medium of fallible men. 

Nor is this exercise of the right of pnvaie judgment at all 
chargeable with presumption. On the contrar)', it is a duty 
necessarily imposed upon us by our individual responsibility 
to God, and which every man must perform to the best of his 
ability ; and for such a performance of it, and such only, is he 
responsible. "To expound Scripture," says Dean Sherlock, 
** is to make us understand it, not to impose upon our faith 
" without understanding; and therefore this is not so much 
" an act of authority, as of skill and judgment ; any man who 
" can so explain Scripture to me as to make me understand 
" it, shall gain my assent ; but no authoritxj is sufficient to 
" make me assent, without understanding. And yet such a 
" catholic expositor our author would set up, whose authority 
" shall make me grant that to be the sense of Scripture, which 
" his reasons and arguments cannot persuade me of. But all 
" reasonable creatures must understand for themselves ; and 
" Christ nowhere commands us to believe that to be the sense 


" of Scripture, which we cannot understand to be so. I 
" know no necessity that all Christians should agree in the 
" interpretation of all difficult texts of Scripture : there is 
" enough in Scripture plain to carry men to heaven ; and as 
" for more difficult and obscure texts, they are for the improve- 
*' ment of those who can understand them, and need no such 
" catholic expositor ; because it is not necessary that all men 
" should understand then»."* 

But such an exercise of the right of private judgment is, 
according to Mr. Newman, an assumption of infallibility. 
" The multitude of Protestants," he says, *' consider every 
" man his own judge j they hold, that every man may and 
" must read Scripture for himself, and judge about its mean- 
" ing, and make up his mind for himself; nay is, as regards 
" himself and practically, an infallible judge of its meaning — 
" infallible certainly ; for, were the whole new creation against 
" him. Bishops, Doctors, Martyrs, Saints, the Holy Church 
" Universal, the very companions of the Apostles, the unani- 
" mous suffrage of the most distinct times and places, and the 
" most gifted and holiest men, yet, according to the popular 
" doctrine, though he was aware of this, he ought ultimately 
" to rest in his own interpretations of Scripture, and to follow 
" his private judgment, however sony he might be to differ 
" from such authorities." (pp. 319, 20.) 

Now here are a vast number of very big words heaped up, 
but to veiy little purpose. Here are "the whole new 
creation," "the Holy Church Universal," "the unanimous 
" suffrage of the most distinct times and places, and the most 
" gifted aud holiest men," all shaking their heads at us, and 
warning us that it is at our peril to attach any meaning to what 
God has said to us in the Scriptures, other than what they 
tell us is to be affixed to it. Such an apparition is, no doubt, 
very alarming; and some people who are frightened by big 
words, begin to think, that it really would be veiy presum])- 
tuous to differ from such authorities. And so do I too. But 

* W. Shebiock's Vindication of some Protestant Principles, &c. Lond. 1688. 
4to. p. 99. 


uhen we come to close quarters with these spectres, we find 
them vanish into thin air; and "the whole uew creation " 
leave nothing behind them to tell us what meaning they did 
affix to the Scriptures, but the mutilated works of a few 
fallible authors of the Primitive Church. The right of private 
jiidgment, then, involves no such presumption as Mr. New- 
man would here lead us to suppose. And however much men 
may misinterpret the Bible, they have in it at least an in- 
fallible guide ; and as long as they adhere closely to it, in the 
sincere desire to understand it, and with prayer to God to 
enable them to do so, will not be suflfered by a faithful God 
to err fundamentally ; while, as it respects the Fathers, they 
are at almost every step liable to be led astray ; for they are 
met at the veiy threshold of their inquiry by a multitude of 
difficulties, all of which must be cleared up, before they can 
proceed satisfactorily. They must determine the meaning of 
doubtful passages; they must know how many Fathers are 
sufficient to constitute a safe guide ; they must ascertain that 
these are not contradicted by others; they must determine 
various other points in which they are exposed to innumerable 
errors, through inexperience and prejudice ; while after all, at 
the best, they get nothing more than a fallible guide, which 
cannot relieve them from the duty of ascertaining for them- 
selves what God has delivered in the Scriptures. 

Moreover, the rights of the Church and the right of private 
judgment are by no means incompatible with each other; nor 
need any confusion or disorder arise in the Church from the 
doctrine for which we contend. It is necessary for the well- 
being of the Church to lay down what it holds to be the doc- 
trines of Scripture as a protest against the misinterpretations 
of heretics, and to expand that Confession of faith from time 
to time according as heresies arise, in order to keep her pom- 
munion as far as possible pure. And this holds good of a 
particular Church as well as of the whole Universal Chui-ch. 
And in both cases it is done on the responsibUity of those who 
do it ; and done, not as if the determination was infallible, but 
as a protest against supposed error, and a safeguard to protect 


the coinmuiiion of those who make it. The validity of tluir 
svnlence against the supposed heretic depends nj)on wliether 
they are riglit or not^ and this God alone can infallibly decide ; 
while nevertlieless they must act as if they were right. 

It is in consequence of her taking this course, I conceive, 
that our Church has sometimes been most unjustly accused by 
her enemies as one that always disowned infallibility, but 
always acted as if she were infallible. Here, as it often hap- 
pens in such cases, truth has been sacrificed for the sake of an 
antithesis, but if the word right had been inserted in the latter 
clause instead of infallible, the remark would have been per- 
fectly true, and have imj)uted nothing blameworthy. For, if 
men were not to act, and act w ith energy and vigour, according 
to what they believed to be true and right, because they were 
not infallible, they must cease to act at all. But there is a 
vast deal of difference between acting with energy, according 
to that which we believe to be right and true, and claiming 
infallibility. There is a limit to what we do in the first case, 
as the annals of ovir Church will testify. There is no limit in 
the other, as the annals of the Church of Rome will prove. 

"As for that objection against our Church," say Dr. 
Clagett and Mr. Hutchinson, "which is of late so much 
" insisted upon by some, that notwithstanding the liberty she 
" gives to private Christians to examine her doctrines by the 
" Scriptures, she yet peremptorily requires the profession of 
" that faith which she teaches, and conformity to her rules of 
" worship, there is nothing in it to surprise any man but the 
" intolerable vanity of the objections. For this is so far from 
" being unreasonable, that for the same reason that she does 
" the one, she may and ought to do the other; that is, because 
" she is certain, that the conditions of her communion are 
" justifiable to the whole world, therefore she should neither 
" fear to insist upon them, nor to provoke all persons to the 
" examination of them by any proper methods whatsoever. 
" This objection, however, runs a little cross to the other, that 
" the liberty our Church gives must needs cause disorder and 
" confusion. For w^hv there must needs be disorder where a 


" Church's faith is fixed, and a form of worship established, 
" and conformity required, and no just cause of offence given, 
" I cannot understand, unless it be, because it must needs be, 
" that some men will be very unreasonable, and others will be 
" very wicked, after the best care is taken to direct them in 
" their duty, and oblige them to it. If they of the Roman 
" Church can tell how to prevent this infallibly, it is a secret 
" which they have as yet kept to themselves. For our own 
'^ parts, we are altogether ignorant of any way that shall make 
" it impossible for men that are endued with freewill to abuse 
" it, whether by making wrong judgment or a wrong choice. 
" Our Church hath fixed terms of communion which are truly 
" catholic, and leaves every one to judge for himself whether 
" they be so or not, affording to every one the liberty of using 
" all means that they can in order to the making a right judg- 
" ment, and therefore of using the Scriptures, which are not 
" only the best in themselves, but which also come within the 
" compass of the abilities and leisure of all, more or lets. We are 
" to use the liberty of judging for ourselves by these means, 
" under this consideration, that we are to be accountable for it 

" at the day of judgment This is the provision that God 

" hath made for the maintaining of truth and peace in his 
" Church ; that governors cannot abuse their authority in 
" commanding, nor the people their liberty of judging whether 
" the command can be obeyed with a good conscience, but at 
" the peril of their souls. ... As for those that impute the 
" disorders and schisms of the Church to the liberty of judging 
" by the Scripttires which ive allow, I would be glad to know, 
" what means they arc provided with to ascertain the unity of 
" communion."^ 

When the authorities of any Church separate one who 
obstinately maintains what they deem to be fundamental error 
from their communion, they do so, not as persons possessing 
any infallible guide besides the Scriptures, but in the exercise 
of the ministerial authority given to them by the Church, and 
each party is responsible to the great Head of the Church 

' On the Authority of Councils and the Rule of Faith. See Bp. Gilwon's 
Pi-eserv. vol. i. tit. 4. c. 2. pp. 170, 171. 


alone for their conduct. Tlierc is no infallible tribunal on 
earth before which he can be arraigned, and therefore nothing 
can be justly done beyond such an act of separation. None 
have authority over his conscience. The whole matter must 
be referred to Christ's tribunal at the day of judgment; and 
if the authorities of the Church have been in error, they will 
be the persons to suffer punishment, and not he who, knowing 
from the Scriptures what the real doctrines of the faith arc, 
and seeing that those authorities were leading him astray, 
determined to obey Cod rather than man ; while, if he had 
obeyed man rather than God, he would have been involved in 
the same condemnation with them ; for no one, I suppose, will 
pretend, that his obedience to them would exempt him from 

But with this ministerial authority, and the concession of 
the right of private judgment to individuals as to the meaning 
of God's word in points upon which their salvation depends, 
our opponents are altogether dissatisfied. No; they must 
either wield the sceptre of infaUibility, or they can do nothing, 
and every thing must take its own course, and go to confusion. 

The real fact is, that our opponents are carried away, like 
many Papists, by the notion, that there must be some infallible 
guide to be found somewhere to " force" upon men the true 
meaning of the Scriptures, because, otherwise, they see clearly, 
that professing Christians will always be divided as to its 
meaning, and that even an orthodox Church can no more 
claim to be considered an infallible witness than those who 
are supporters of error. If, then, this staggers any one, 
let me put it to him, whether this is at all dissonant from 
God's ordinary dealings with mankind. AVe have a revelation 
given us of the Christian faith in a fourfold account of our 
Lord's life and teaching. We have above twenty Epistles 
written by inspired authors to various Churches, amplifying 
and explaining that revelation. We have vai'ious Churches 
and individuals among Christians, holding forth in tlieir public 
acts and confessions the light of truth, and bearing witness to 
the true meaning of Scripture and the orthodox faith. Is this 
sufficient^ or not, for tlie conviction of men ? Is not such a 


state of things precisely iu accordance with the ordinary course 
of God's dealings with mankind ? 

But, with this state of things the lovers of Church-authority 
will not be satisfied. They must wield a power over the 
consciences of men to bind them to belief in what they deliver, 
otherwise, they tell us, there will be no end of controversies 
and heretical sects. Now, is not this the very source of their 
errors, that they expect that there should be in this world an 
end of controversies and heretical sects ? The Apostles had 
no such expectation. They tell us, that there must be heresies, 
that they which are approved may be made manifest. (1 Cor. 
xi. 19.) We entertain, therefore, no such expectation ; and, 
consequently, when we are told that if the Bible is the sole 
authoritative Judge of controversies in religion, there will be 
no end of controversies and heretical sects, for that the Bible 
cannot force people to believe the truth, we reply, that this is 
perfectly true, but no reasonable ground of objection against 
the view for which we contend, for this is a trial which the 
Church of Christ ought to expect and look for, as the natural 
consequence of the present state of things. While human 
nature remains what it is, there will be dissensions among 
men on such points. But this does not bring confusion into 
any Church that is watchful in maintaining her orthodoxy, 
though it be a trial to which, as a Church militant, she is 
necessarily exposed. And though it would carry me too far 
from our present subject to enlarge upon the remark I am 
about to make, I would suggest to the reader the inquiry, how 
far a claim to be considered an infallible guide would be likely 
to tend to the purity or the peace of any Church that made it. 

Our opponents seem ready to think, that if " the Church," 
i. e., according to their use of the phrase, the collective body 
of the pastors of the Church, has not authority over the con- 
sciences of men, the ministerial office is useless ; that if an 
ultimate appeal to the Scriptures lies open to all men, and 
men may judge for themselves from them what is the truth, 
we may as well leave them, at least in adult age, to tlie 
' Scriptures as their alone teacher. What ! Have we not 


abundant room for our ministrations, in endeavouring to 
remove prejudices, to lead the mind to trains of thought suited 
to bring it into a state of willingness to receive the truth, to 
obviate the effects of man's carelessness and indifference to 
religion, by laying before him the truths of God's word, and 
pointing out to him their true meaning, (which he in often too 
indifferent about to search out,) to study the word of truth /(/r 
him, and show liim, by the collation of passages, what the 
mind of God is ; to remove the objections which his humour or 
prejudices may start; to point out to him the number, the 
qualifications and the piety of those who in past times have 
maintained such views of divine truth, (I say their piettj, for 
*'by i\\t\v fruits ye shall know them," not by their Apostolical 
Succession, which may be very good, while their doctrine is 
very bad ;) and lastly, to press all home to the heart by earnest 
and affectionate exhortations and warnings ; and then, as 
fallible men, leave it to the conscience to do its work, and to 
the final decision of the Supreme Judge to pronounce an 
infallible judgment ? But no : all this is insufficient, because 
there are some who will not thus embrace the truth, and we 
must have, in one way or another, some infallible judge upon 
earthy in order to make people believe, and wield a power over 
their consciences which belongs to the Supreme Judge alone. 
And to create a judge that has some appearance of infallibility, 
a certain number of big words and high-sounding phrases, 
such as " the Church," " Catholic consent," " the consent of 
all Christians from the beginning," (which either have no mean- 
ing at all, or else cannot be defined until we have determined 
the very thing for w^hich this infallible judge is wanted, viz., 
the fundamental faith,) are thrown together, and there arises 
from the compound an idol, to which men are taught to bow 
down as the infallible expounder of God's will, the authorita- 
tive Judge of controversies in religion. 

Lastly, — It is objected, that if Scripture is the sole infallible 
Judge of controversies of faith, it follows, that men may inter- 
pret it as they please, and cannot be blamed, whatever errors 
they may maintain ; and that the only fundamental doctrine* 
is the inspiration of the Bible. 


Astounding as such an objection is, and obvious as is its 
illogical nature, it is put forth as something wholly undeniable, 
and boasted of as a difficulty which nothing can remove. 
They who maintain the view for which we contend, " seem to 
" allow," says Mr. Newman, " or to be in the way to allow, 
" that truth is but matter of opinion, that that is truth to each 
" which each thinks to be truth, provided he sincerely and really 
" thinks it, that the divinity of the Bible itself is t/ie only thing 
*' that need be believed, and that its meaniny varies with the 
" individuals wlw receive it, that it has no one meaning to be 
" ascertained as a matter of fact, but that it may mean any- 
" thing, because it is said to mean so many things ;" and they 
have adopted " the latitudinariaii notion that one creed is as 
good as another." (pp. 35, 6.) And this " principle of popu- 
" lar Protestantisux'* "tends by no very intricate process to 
" the recognition of Socinians and Pelagians as Christians.*' 
(p. 291.) I need hardly add, that the objection is only an echo 
of a Romish one ; ^ and a Romish one (be it observed) urged, 
like the rest, against tfiat very Church and those very men witum 
our opponents profess to follow in this matter. 

I feel bound to say, that this appears to me just like the 
last refuge of a disputant driven into a corner, and vexed at 
finding that he has not a single loophole of escape left ; for 
any argument more groundless, any conclusion more un- 
warranted by the premises, any statement containing a more 
complete libel against God's word, never was devised as the 
last shift of a controversialist. 

Mr. Newman^s statements go even beyond the objection, as 
we have worded it, and altogether pass the bounds of reason- 
able and temperate discussion ; for his words (as quoted above) 
clearly charge us with maintaining, that the Scripture really 
has as many meanings as are given to it ; so that in the hands 
of one person it really teaches Trinitarianism, and in the hands 
of another it really teaches Socinianism. / here call upon Mr. 
Newman, as a man of truth, to point out any authority for this 

* Aofount, &o. of Guide in Controversies, by K. H. [♦>. Abraham Woodbeadj 
as above quoted. 



statement, such as will justify him in so mnkini/ it, or to acknow- 
ledge his inability to do so.^ 

But, take the objection in its best form, and what does it 
amount to? That if every man is to believe only as his 
private judgment of the meaning of Scripture directs him, he 
who follows his private judgment is not blameworthy, how- 
ever erroneous his faith may be. 

Now here, obviously, the conclusion is wholly unwarranted 
by the premises, for there are many causes tending to mislead 
the judgment for which a man is responsible, and blameworthy 
if they lead him into error. Such are, in this case, want of 
attention to the subject, indifference, worldly-mindedness, 
prejudices, aversion to the truth, negligence of the means of 
information, and of those helps which arc suited to aid him in 
his inquiries into the meaning of God's word. And the true 
question is this, whether he who comes to the Scrij)tures with 
a siucere desire to know the truth, doing the will of God as 
far as he knows it, carefully, earnestly, and impartially en- 
deavouring to ascertain the sense of Scripture, with prayer to 
God for his blessing upon the perusal of it, shall ever fail of 
obtaining a knowledge of its meaning in all fundamental 
points. All these things are w ithin the power of every man, 
and he is blameworthy if he neglects any of them. We 
contend that this question can only be answered in the nega- 
tive. No man thus coming to the Scriptures shall fail of 
obtaining a knowledge of the fundamental truths revealed in 
them ; and for the proof of this position we have their sujSi- 
ciency (to be proved more fully hereafter) to teach the faith, 
the character and promises of God, and the testimony of 
Antiquity to the plainness with which all such points are 
delivered therein. 

It follows, then, that every man is responsible to God for 
deducing the right faith from Scripture, and blameworthy if 
he does not. 

The primai'y false principle in the objection of our op- 

' I need hardly say, that Mr. Newman has never attempted to do this. 


ponents is, as throughout, the assumption, that Scripture is so 
ambiguous in its delivery of the fundamentals of the faith, 
that if God has not given us an authoritative interpreter whom 
we are bound in conscience to follow, we are not responsible to 
him for deducing the right faith, even in essentials, from 
Scripture, and not blameworthy if we maintain that it teaches 
Socinianism, Pelagianism, or anything else. Such is the 
character which our opponents affix to God's word in the 
Scriptures ! 

Nay more, it is broadly intimated, (however inconsistently 
with other parts,) that if we were left to Scripture alone, 
Socinians would have a very good defence to make. For, 
says Mr. Newman, " It is urged against them, [i. e., by Soci- 
" nians against those who hold our views,] that, though the 
" texts referred to may imply the catholic doctrine, yet they 
" need not ; that they are consistent with any one out of several 
" theories." (p. 292.) Now, if this is justly urged, and in 
that ease only is it worth referring to, what becomes of Mr. 
Newman's remarks about Scripture-proof for doctrine ? And 
in what does his view differ from that which he professes to 
repudiate, viz., that Scripture is like a nose of wax, that can 
be turned any way ? In fact, he has here countenanced the 
very notion which we have just seen him charging upon his 
opponents as an absurdity; viz., that Scripture "may mean 
anything, because it is said to mean so many things." " Or, 
at any rate," it is added, "that other persons think so." 
What then ? Is everything ambiguous that people dispute 
about ? Let us take a case for an illustration of this point. 
WTiat is the opinion entertained by a great number of pro- 
fessing Christians, as to the best means of obtaining happi- 
ness in tliis world ? Is it not, that it is to be derived almost 
solely from earthly sources ? And if you press them with 
texts of Scripture bearing upon this point, have they not their 
reply ready, explaining away the passage so as to suit their 
own notions, and adducing others in defence of them ? 
According, then, to Mr. Newman's mode of reasoning, the 
New Testament is altogether ambiguous upon this point, and 

M 2 


we need some authoritative interpreter lo uli uh what it 
means ; and he who ehooses to think that it authorizes his 
earthly-minded career, is blameless before God, if there is no 
such interpreter. 

Mr. Newman proceeds, — ",It is urged against them. . . . 
" that these others have as much right to their opinion as the 
" party called orthodox to theirs ; that human interpreters have 
" no warrant to force upon them one view in particular ; that 
" private judgment must be left unmolested," &c. No ; this 
cannot be justly urged against us, for this is what we hold. 
We do not "force" upon men "one view;" we do leave 
"private judgment unmolested;" but these objections are 
fairly urged against our opponents, because, when they claim 
infallibility, they deforce upon men one view, and grievously 
molest private judgment. We hold, indeed, that Scripture 
has a clear and definite meaning in all necessary points ; and 
that he who does not hold its meaning in such points, is fun- 
damentally wrong; and therefore that every Church is bound 
to keep its communion pure, by separating frona itself those 
who, in its view, are obstinate heretics, and bearing its testi- 
mony to the erroneousness of their tenets ; but we hold, also, 
that there is no such authoritative infallible Judge of contro- 
versies of faith on earth, as can bind the conscience to the 
belief of any meaning it may aflfix to the word of God ; even 
though that meaning be taken from what is called the " con- 
sent of the Fathers." 

And having thus libelled the Word of God, and accused it 
of being altogether of doubtful meaning, because some persons 
misrepresent its meaning, and attacked the Protestant doctrine 
of the right of private judgment, Mr. Newman triumphantly 
concludes, " This reasoning, granting the fii'st step, is resist- 
less ;" and he tells us, that, " though certain individuals are 
" not injured by the principle in question, [i. e. of the Bible 
" being the sole authoritative Rule of faith,] the body of men 
" who profess it are, and e\'er must be, injured. For, the 
" mass of men, having no moral convictions, are led by reason- 
" iug, and by mere consistency of argument ; and legitimately 


" evolve heresy from principles which, to the better sort of 
" men, may be harmless." (pp. 293, 4.) That is, men who 
are led by reasoning, and by mere consistency of argument, 
LEGITIMATELY EVOLVE HERESY from adhering to Scripture as 
the sole authoritative Rule of faith. 

May God in his mercy pity and forgive such libels against 
the precious boon he has bestowed upon us in his Holy Scrip- 
tures, and not visit the sin upon our Church, in withdrawing 
from us altogether the light of that book so little prized, and 
leaving us again to grope our way in the darkness to which 
some among us would fain reduce us ! 

Nor let it be forgotten, that this objection is just as tenable 
against the views of our opponents, as against those for which 
we contend. For, as we have already shown, Patristical 
Tradition may be, and is, quoted on all sides. And, as 
Bishop Stillingfleet says, — " Why may not men mistake the 
" sense of Tradition, as well as the sense of Scripture ? Is 
'' Tradition more infallible in itself? Is it delivered by 
" persons more infallible ? Doth it make those to whom it is 
" delivered infallible ? Why, then, may not those who 
" deliver it, and those who receive it, both be mistaken about 
" it ? " In the tradition of " Christ's being the Son of God," 
" the traditionary words may be kept ; and yet an heretical 
" sense may be contained under them. Mr. S. answers, 
" ' That the sense of the words, and all the rest of Christ's 
" doctrine, is conveyed down by tradition.* This is bravely 
" said, if it could be made out ; and would presently put an 
" end to all disputes. For, if all the doctrine of Christ be 
" derived down to us in such a manner that we cannot mis- 
" take the sense of it, we must be all agreed, whether we will 
" or not. . . . But let us see, how he proves, that men cannot 
" mistake the sense of Tradition in particular points. The 
" force of what he saith is, ' That men were always men, and 
" Christians were always Christians ;' and Mr. S. is always 
" Mr. S., pretending demonstration, when there is nothing 
" like it. If men were always men, they were always apt to 
*' be deceived ; and unless Christians, by being such, are 
" infallible, they are liable to mistakes. ' But the highest 


" means to convey the sense of words, are to be found in 
"Tradition.' [ am quite of another opinion; / think it the 
" most uncertain way in the world ; and the corruptions of the 
" first ayes of the world are an evident //roof of it, when there 
" were all possible advantages of Tradition ; and yet the 
" j)rinci|)les of natural religion were strangely corrupted, 
" although they were plain, easy, few, of the highest import- 
" ance, and men lived so long to inculcate them into the 
" minds of their children." And he then proceeds to show 
the vanity of the argument adduced by J. S., (as by our oppo- 
nents,) that there were actions in the rites and ordinances of 
the Church, as well as words, to show the true doctrines of 

Our opponents, then, may take back their argument, and 
answer it as it applies to their own system, and the same 
answer will do for us. If it follows from our regarding the 
Bible as the sole infallible Rule of faith, that we thereby make 
the doctrine of the inspiration of the Bible the only funda- 
mental, and that men are not blameable, whatever doctrine 
they deduce from the Bible, so our opponents' hypothesis 
makes the doctrine of the inspiration of the Bible and 
Patristical Tradition the only fundamental ; and men are not 
blameable, whatever doctrines they may derive from them ; 
and so half the heretics, ancient and modern, are at once 

I cannot conclude this chapter, however, without again 
calling the attention of the reader to the extraordinary fact, 
that such doctrines as we have been considering, should be 
represented as the doctrines of the Church of England. Most 
painful, indeed, is it to observe the way in which the name of 
the Church of England has been used in this matter, and her 
authoi-ity quoted as supporting doctrines and statements 
against which, both in her authorized formularies and by her 
most celebrated divines, she has been for three centuries 
protesting ; and still more painful to see, how readily, nay 
eagerly, those representations are credited by many, and a few 

* Stillixgfleet's Discourse cone, the nature aud groimds of the cert^nty 
of faith, pp. 42. et seq. 


quotations of xincertairi meaning received from the Tract 
writers in proof of their allegations, when other parts of the 
works of the same individuals show, how completely opposed 
they were to the doctrines which they are quoted as support- 
ing. But our opponents are wise in supposing, that such 
names do them far more service than their own arguments 
on the subject ; and they have, indeed, as far as my experience 
goes, been the chief causes of the impression produced in many 
quarters in their favour. 

I have noticed above only the observations of Mr. Newman 
on this subject, but I need hardly observe, that his remarks 
are echoed in substance by the rest ; and equally so by that 
corps of volunteers who, though they disclaim any express and 
direct union with the winters of the Tracts, are almost always 
found, on important points, lighting side by side with them. 
One of these is Dr. Hook, who, in the notes to his VisitatioQ 
Sermon (p. 100), tells us, that they who hold the notion of the 
Bible being the sole infallible Rule of faith, have no right to 
" refuse to regard as a Christian,*' a Socinian, i. e., in other 
words, to pronounce him to be involved in fundamental error, 
nor to blame him for his error. No, doubtless, how can he 
be to blame when he has only got such an obscure book as the 
Bible to direct him ? With such a guide, how can he be 
expected to find the way ? Nay, more, " / believe it," says 
Dr. Hook, " to be only on account of their being bad Logicians^ 
" that they are not Socinians : I believe that they ought to be, 
" if consistent, both Dissenters and Socinians. If they accuse 
" Church principles of tending to Popery, we think that their 
" opinions must lead logical and unprejudiced minds to Soci- 
" nianism." (p. 59.) So that the Bible, when alone, directly 
leads logical minds to Socinianism ? There is much comfort, 
however, in the reflection, that it isjhe logic of our opponents 
that does so. But the Socinians, I am sure, must feel greatly 
obliged to Dr. Hook for the remark, for if hundreds and 
thousands do not after this join them, it will be no fault ot 
Dr. Hook. 

But then, " we of the Church of England " have got " an 


arbiter to decide" for ub what the meaning of Scripture \%, in 
" the Church " and " General Councils," the old high-w)und- 
inp phrases and hig words by which so many have be^Mi 
frightened into errors of all kinds. "IJiit for this," adds Dr. 
H., "ultra-Protestants denounce us as papistical, and call ottr 
Church the Church of the Traditioners." (p. 101.) Now, if 
Dr. Hook would but have given himself time to make himself 
acquainted with the facts of the case, he would have found, that 
this name was given for no reason of the kind. \Mjen the 
Puritans called the Church of England the Chtireh of the 
Traditioners (see Dr. H.'s Serm. p. 56), they did so, not 
with reference to her going to Tradition for doctrine, but be- 
cause she considered that in matters of discipline the Tradition of 
the Early Church was a sufficient ^'i/*/i/?cff/ion for her continuing 
some usages which had been observed in the Church in the 
time of ]*opery, and which the Puritans, who demanded Scrip- 
tural authority for every usage, wished to abolish ; and if Dr. 
Hook will consult only his Hooker a little more attentively, 
he will easily find the truth of this. But this is just a 
specimen of the haste and carelessness of the party, and but 
one of a thousand. They are in such haste and eagerness to 
establish their position, that they catch at everj' straw and 
broken reed that lies in their way, and when any famous divine 
of our Church is found to have uttered a few words in com- 
mendation of the Fathers and the Primitive Church, imme- 
diately they are quoted as evidence for the truth of their posi- 
tions, and the w^riter's name figures in their next Catena; 
utterly unable, or rather unw illing, to draw the distinction be- 
tween making the testimony of the Fathers an argument in con- 
firmation of orthodoxy, and claiming their testimony in one's 
favour, which our Reformers most justly did, and putting it 
forward under big names and high-sounding phrases, as the 
arbiter of the meaning of Scripture, authoritatively declaring 
the truth and binding the conscience to belief without any 
appeal, — a notion against which our Church has for three cen- 
turies been all but unanimous. 

Dr. Hook's work contains a long extract (pp. 64 et seq.) 


from the " Treatise on the Church/' by the Rev. W. Palmer, 
another supporter of the Tractators, who, beginning with the 
complaint of " systematic misrepresentation," himself misre- 
presents most grievously. " The various methods which 
these men employ," he says, " in endeavouring to prevent any 
appeal to the Tradition of the Church,'^ &c., as if it was denied, 
that " any appeal" might be made to it in the way of argu- 
ment, when Dissenters themselves have often made it. So 
again, under the head of " statements directly untrue," it is 
he himself who is guilty. " Under this head," he says, " may 
'' be included the palmary argument employed by all sects 
" against any appeal to the Tradition of the Church Uni- 
" versal, namely, tlrat it was the principle of the Reformation 

" to reject any such appeal Nothing can be more un- 

" true than this assertion : the Reformation, as a whole, ac- 
" knowledged and appealed to the authority of Catholic Tradi- 
" tion, though it denied the infallibility of particular Fathers 
" and Councils." Now, in the first place, " nothing can be 
more untrue " than that this assertion is so made ; and on the 
other hand, nothing more untrue, than that the Reformers 
appealed to the authority of Catholic Tradition in that sense 
of the word authority in which the last part of the sentence 
and the general argument show that it is here used, viz., as 
absolute and binding, and as if such Tradition was infallible. 
There is a middle path, the true path of our Church, which 
Mr. Palmer, like the Tract writers, refuses to see, — an appeal 
to the Tradition of the Fathers as a good argument as far as 
it goes, but not as one in itself binding upon the conscience. 
He proceeds to tell us, that, " in asserting this liberty to all 
" men, [i. e., the liberty of judging, after the due use of 
" means, what is the meaning of Scripture, for as to the words 
" ' in opposition to the belief of all Christians from the be- 
" ginning,' they arc mere moonshine, because no one can tell 
" us what that belief has been, nor for one in ten thousand, 
" as Mr. P. very well knows,] it follows inevitably, that no par- 
" ticular interpretation of Scripture is necessary to salvation ; 
" that Scripture has no divine meaning, that it is not a reve- 


" lation." Most logically arguod ! God has comini«sioncd 
various persons to write several accounts of the Gospel, and 
he has given me reason sufficient to understand it. But if I 
say, that I am at liberty to judge what those accounts mean, 
" it follows inevitably," that those accounts have " no divine 
meaning," that they are " not a revelation," and that I may 
understand them to mean anything that my humour lead« me 
to fancy. Such superficial and illogical views destroy the 
value of any learning with which they may be connected. For 
learning is then only valuable when united with correct and 
impartial reasoning. 

The fact is, that this whole argument, with its invidious 
reference to Socinianism in order to raise a prejudice in the 
mind, is only another weapon drawn from the Romish armoury. 
It was long ago urged by the celebrated R. H., (i. e., Abraham 
Woodhead,) in the 4th Discourse of his " Guide in Contro- 
versies," where he represents the Socinian's Plea as being 
precisely that of the Protestant; and it was fully and 
ably answered by Dr. Tenison, afterwards Archbishop of Can- 
terbury, in his " Difference betwixt the Protestant and Soeinian 
methods," a tract which I would strongly recommend to the 
serious perusal of our opponents, as one which very clearly 
lays down the principles of the Church of England in this 
point, and gives to the Fathers as well as to Scripture their 
proper place and respect. To quote from this work what is 
relevant to our present subject, would be to give the whole, 
but I cannot refrain from offering one or two extracts. 

" If men," says the Archbishop, " who plead Scripture as 
" their Rule of faith, make apology by so doing for all others 
" who pretend to the same rule, then Catholic Councils them- 
" selves plead for Socinians. For, to give an example, the 
" General Council of Chalcedon, and after itEvagrius, testifies, 
" that the intent of the Second Council was, to make it appear, 
" by Scripture testimony, that such as Macedonius erred 
" in that opinion which they had advanced against the lord- 
" ship of the Holy Ghost." (p. 35.) "I conclude, that, not- 
" withstanding the Protestants and Socinians do both of them 


" plead Scripture as the Rule of faith, yet because Protestants 
" plead the Rule rightly in the point of the divinity of the Son 
" of God, and the Socinians very falsely, even in the opinion 
" of the Arians and Romanists themselves, the plea of the 
" former does not justifie the plea of the latter, , . . For the 
" trial of the plea, tve must come to dint of argument, and truth 
" is great and will in time prevail." (p. 37.) 

He then proceeds to give the main argument of his antagonist 
in order to its refutation, and he thus states it : — " Both Pro- 
" testants and Socinians plead Scripture as the sole Rule of 
"faith. Both say, the Scripture is sufficiently clear. Both 
" say, it is clear in the doctrine of the nature of the Son of God. 
" The Socinian professeth himself to be as industrious in find- 
" ing out the sense of the Scripture as the Protestant, «nd he 
" is as well assured in his persuasion ; therefore the Protestant 
" in this plea jiistities the Socinian, the latter saying the same 
" thing for himself that the former does.*' (p. 38.) Words 
could not have been chosen more accurately representing the 
argument of om* opponents. This, be it remembered, is a 
Romanist's charge against the Church of England. How does 
the Archbishop meet it ? Does he tell him, that this is not 
the ground taken by the Church of England ? Precisely the 
contrary. He tells him, "Though they pretend to the same 
" rule, they walk not alike by it. One follows it, the other 
" wrests it. And this ought not to be turned to the prejudice of 
" him who is true to his rule. Let both opinions be brought 
" to it, and then it will appear, which is straight 
" AND WHICH IS crooked. . . . Though the Socinians do pre- 
" tend, that the writings of St. John are to them as clear as to 
" any Protestant, and that they cannot discern in them the 
" divinity of Christ, yet confidence in saying a thing is not 
" clear, is not an argument that it is not. . . . Men will say, 
" doctrines are obscure, even when they are secretly convinced 
" of their evidence. . . . My adversary here (says a learned and 
" good man) ' seems to object as elsewhere, that some who 
" seem to follow the letter of the Scriptures deny this [that is, 
" the divinity of Jesus Christ] , as do the Socinians. What 


" tVien ? This is not for want of evidence in Scripture, but 
" from making or devising ways to avoid this evidence. Will 
" this author say, that there was no evidence of there being 
" angels and spirits amongst the Jews, because the Sadducees, 
" who had opportunity of observing all such evidence, believed 
" neither angel nor spirit ? And will he say, that there was 
" no clear evidence from the word of Christ and his miracles, 
" that they were from God, because the Pharisees and other 
" unbelieving Jews who conversed with him, and saw his 
" miracles, and heard his word, did not acknowledge him for 
" God V I suppose not." (pp. 38 — 40.) " lict a Romanist 
" consider of the qualifications of a Protestant and a Socinian 
" by the effect of their iahours in matters of Christian faith, 
" and, if he be not blinded with very gross partiality, he will 
" acknowledge a difference. The Protestant finds in the Scrip- 
" ture the divinity of Christ and the Holy Ghost, and the 
"merit of Christ's sacrifice; the Socinian pretends the con- 
" trary. If the Protestant and Socinian were equally disposed, 
" how comes the one to interpret as a catholic, the other as a 
" heretic ? And hoiv can a Romanist belier-e, that God gives an 
" equal blessing to the industry of the Protestants and Socinians, 
" whilst the latter do not so much as pray for grace to the Spirit 
" of God, nor apply themselves to God the Father through the 
" meritorious sacrifice of his blessed Son, nor to Christ himself as 
" God, but as to the highest of creatures F" (p. 43.) "We 
" have no need of confuting Arians and Socinians by Church - 
" authority, seeing we can do it more effectually out of 
" the Scriptures ; and if they say, that the Scriptures are 
" on their side, their saying so does not alter the nature of 
" truth. And the Romanists allow, that they say not true, 
" and they may be confuted when they are not silenced. Pro- 
" testants decline not a disputation with Socinians by the rule 
" of primitive Church-authority- But if they undervalue this 
" rule, it is discretion in Protestants to debate the matter with 
" them in a way which they themselves best like of, seeing 
" that is also a more certain as well as a more speedy 
" WAY TO victory." (p. 47.) " Though the Church of Eng- 


" land does not make the Councils her rule of faith^ or make 
" her last appeal to them ; yet she believes, that in times of 
" controversy, when the heads of men are apt to be disturbed 
" even in matters otherwise plain enough, by the heats and 
" distempers of the age they live in, they are of special use. 
" The authority of them tends to the quelling of the party, 
" and then when the faction cools, it tends to the fixing and 
" further strengthening of the weak and interrupted faith of 
" many. For, as in a balance, one scale may descend more 
" or less below the level, so there may be faith and assent tvith- 
" out adding the weight of FatJiers and Councils ; and yet in 
" unquiet times especially, and disputing ages, such testi- 
" monies may give some furtlier strength to minds made feeble, 
" either by public distractions, or the private attacks of crafty 
" seducers. Thus, our Church gives to the Scripture the things 
" that belong to the Scripture, and to Tradition the dues of 
" Tradition. And it gives more even to the former than 
" generally Socinians do, and more also to the latter, though 
" with just caution and subordination." (p. 33.) 

The same argument was urged by the Romanists against 
our opponents' own witness. Bishop Stillingtleet, and is 
treated by him with ridicule. The Church of England and 
the Socinians, objected J. S., "both take the same way of 
" Scripture's letter interpretable by private judgment, and 
" yet differ in these fundamental points." " And what fol- 
" lows ? " replies the Bishop. " That the Scripture is no 
" certain rule ? By no means. But that the Socinians may 
" err, and certainly do, in misinterpreting this rule. ' But 
" how can it be a certain rule, if men that use it may err in 
" using it ?' How can reason be certain in anything, if men 
" following reason may mistake ? How can arithmetic be a 
" certain way of computation, if men following the rules of 
" arithmetic may mistake in casting up a su^m ? Doth any 
" man question the certainty of the rule for men's blundering 
" in their accounts ? Yet this is his way of reasoning. And 
" I will put it just with his propositions, i. Arithmetic pre- 
" scribes a certain way by addition and subtraction for us to 


" find out any sum. ii. Therefore it must be such, that they 
" who take it shall arrive by it at the exact sura. iii. But 
" two men who have made use of the same way differ at leant 
" a hundred in casting up the sum. iv. Therefore, arithmetic 
" doth not prescribe a certain way to attain at a certain sum. 
" V. Therefore, they who take only that way cannot by it 
" arrive at the certain sum. Is not this clear and evident 
" demonstration ? But those who consider a little better 
" than Mr. S. hath done, will distinguish between the rule 
" and the application of it. The rule of arithmetic may be 
" nevertheless certain, although those who want skill or 
" care and diligence may mistake in casting up a particular 
" account. The same we say here. Scripture is a certain 
" Rule in all fundamental points to such as have capacity and 
" use due care and diligence in finding them. But we do not 
" deny, but men through prejudice, weakness, want of atten- 
" tion, authority of false teachers, impatience of thoroughly 
" examining things, and not using proper helps, may run into 
" gross errors, such as these about the Trinity and Incama- 
" tion ; but still the Rule is certain to those who use it 
" aright, although it be very possible for men through their 
" own faults to mistake about it. And this is no way dis- 
" agreeing to the infinite wisdom of God, who deals with us as 
" with rational creatures, and hath put faculties into us 
" that we might use them in order to the certainty of our 
" faith. And such moral qualifications are required in the 
" New Testament in order to the discerning the doctrine of 
" it, as humility of mind, purity of heart, prayer to God, 
" sincere endeavour to do the will of God, that it would be 
" very repugnant to the design of it to suppose, that the 
" letter of Scripture alone would give a man immediate and 
*' certain directions in all matters of doctrine being applied to 
" it." 1 

Such is the testimony of one who is continually put forward 
by our opponents as an advocate of their views. 

' Stillingflekt's Discourse cone, the natnrc and grounds of the certainty 
of faith, pp. 39, 40. 


And as they are fond of the authority of great names, and 
of boasting that their system is tlie true doctrine of the 
English Church, I shall conclude this chapter with an extract 
from a work of our learned Henry \Miartou, {one of the divines 
of the "Anglo-Catholic Library y") quoted in a preceding page. 

" If in any part of the Christian religion an undoubted 
" certainty and most firm assurance may justly be required ; 
" if a scrupulous examination and curious inquiry may ever 
" be allowed in matters of religion ; certainly, an exact kuow- 
" ledge of the Rule of faith will deserve, as our first, so our 
" chief consideration. For, since the articles of Christianity 
" are not in themselves self-evident, nor can be found out by 
" the sole principles of reason ; since all revealed religions are 
" no further credible than as they can demonstrate their reve- 
" lation to have been true and real, some rule was necessary 
" which might propose to mankind those articles of faith 
" which reason could not suggest, and propose them also with 
" such evidence as that the denial of assent tihould in all 
" become irrational. AVhat this determinate rule is, hath 
" been the great controversy of this and all preceding ages. 
" However, all parties agree in affixing some certain proper- 
" ties to it, whereby it may be distinguished ; and, indeed, 
" without which it can never supply the office or serve the 
" ends of a true rule. These may be reduced to four heads, 
" that it be able safely and inviolably to convey down all revealed 
" necessary truths ; that it be Jilted to propose them clearly 
" and invariably to all mankind ; that it be independent on all 
" other revealed articles ; and lastly, that it be assigned as a rule 
" by God, the author of all revealed religion. H' either of the 
" two first conditions be deficient, the rule will be unuseful ; 
" if either of the latter, uncertain and without authority. 

"The Scuipture enjoys all these properties in so 
" eminent a manner, that no reasonable doubt can bb 
" made of the truth op it. For, if we consider that what- 
" soever is revealed may be pronounced ; whatsoever is pro- 
" nounced may be written down ; and whatsoever is committed 
" to writing may be preserved safe, while those writings are 


'* preserved unaltered ; we must conclude, that any revealed 
" religion may be entirely and without danger of uii8take pru- 
" posed from written books to t/ie universal belief of mankind, 
" since these will aflford a standing rule, both to pastors of 
" teaching their people, and to the people of examininy tht^ doc- 
" trine of their pastors in case of dissidence. The independence 
" of Scripture from all other revealed articles, is no less evi- 
" dent. For tliat these books were indeed written by those 
" persons whose names they bear, and these persons highly 
" credible, is known by the same eridences whereby the authors 
" and credibility of any other books are known ; I mean by the 
" concurrent testimony and consent oiall succeeding ages, con- 
" sidered, not as a collection of men professing the Christian 
" faith, but as persons devoid neither of common sense nor 
" integrity, as they must have been, if they had mistaken 
" themselves, or deluded us, in believing and then testifying 
** a matter of fact so easy to be known, and more easy to be 
" remembered. Being thus assured of the credibility of Scrip- 
" ture, that it was written by such historians, who really 
** either performed or saw those miracles which they do attest, 
" we cannot but believe these miracles ; and, consequently, 
" that the authors and founders of the Christian religion acted 
" by a divine commission, and may reasonably command our 
" assent to their revelations. Being thus assured of the 
" divine authority of the Scriptures, we may probably conclude 
*' jrom the nature and end of them, but most certainly from 
" THEIR OWN TESTIMONY, that they contain all things neces- 
" sary to salvation, and are the only rule op faith ; and all 
" this, although we did not yet believe any other article of the 
" Christian religion." ^ 

• Whabton's Prefece to " A Treatise proving Scripture to bo the Bale of 
fiiith, &c. Lond. 1688." 4to. 

L 177] 



In the preceding chapter we have endeavoured to prove, that 
Holy Scripture is the sole divine Rule of faith and practice to 
the conscience of every individual. 

To this position various objections are offered by our 
opponents, many of which we have already considered. There 
remain, however, two others of still greater importance, to the 
consideration of which this and the following chapter shall be 

The first is, the (alleged) imperfection of Scripture; the 
second, the (alleged) obscurity of Scripture. 

The first of these I shall consider in this chapter. 

Our opponents assert on this head,^ — 

That " Tradition " is a necessary part of the divine Rule of 
faith and practice, on account of the defectiveness of Scrip- 
ture ; for that — 

(1) Though it does not reveal to us 2Lny fundamental &Ti\c\e% 
of faith or practice not noticed in Scripture, Holy Scripture 
containing, that is, giving hints or notices of, all the funda- 
mental articles of faith and practice, it is yet a necessary' part 
of the divine Rule of faith and practice as the interpreter of 
Scripture, and as giving the full development of many articles, 
some of which are fundamental, which are but imperfectly 
developed in Scripture ; and — 

" See vol. i. p. 36. 


(2) That Tradition is an important part of that Rule,* m 
conveying to us various important divinely-revealed doctrines 
and rules not contained in Scripture. 

Now, it is evident, that in these propositions it is assumed, 
as an undeniable truth, that Patristical Tradition is a divine 
informant ; for otherwise it would be no sufficient foundation 
for our faith to rest upon, cither in articles of faith not con- 
tained in Scripture, or in the development of truths " noticed " 
in Scripture. This, however, we have shown not to be the 

In rpply, therefore, to these propositions, (as far as con- 
cerns doctrines,) we might at once refer the reader to the 
corollaries pointed out in the last chapter as flowing from our 
proof of the untrustworthy character of Patristical Tradition,' 
as affording at once the most brief and satisfactory refutation 
of them. 

Those corollaries were, 

(1) That the doctrines contained in Scripture have an 
authoritative claim upon our faith only as Jar as they are 
there revealed. 

Consequently, whereinsoever Patristical Tradition goes be- 
yond the clear declarations of Scripture in any doctrinal point 
" noticed " in Scripture, so far faith has no divine or certain 
testimony to rest upon. Whatever explanation or develop- 
ment, not grounded upon the testimony of Scripture, is given 
of any doctrine by " Tradition,^' all the authority it can have 
is that which belongs to "Tradition." 

(2) That no doctrine has any authoritative claim upon our 
faith, that is not revealed in Scripture. 

The exclusive claim of Scripture to be the source of all 
doctrines, is necessarily established, as we have already ob- 
served in the last chapter, by a proof of its being our sole 

* Our opponents would not, perhaps, use the phrase " Rule of faith," with 
reference to these points ; but they must excuse my using that phrase, as well 
as others, in the full and proper meaning. If " Tradition" is the Word of God, 
the rehgious doctrmes which it delivers, are articles of faith. 

^ See above, p. 63. 


divine informant. And, in such a case, it is useless to attempt 
to argue, that Scripture is an imperfect informant as to the 
doctrines of religion, because this or that doctrine is not fully 
set forth in it ; and that such and such doctrines are not con- 
tained in it at all ; for, if this were true, it would only follow, 
that these additions had no title to be reckoned as any part of 
the Christian faith or religion. For, as Mr. Newman himself 
justly remarks, — " There is no abstract measure of what is 
" sufficient. Faith cannot believe more than it is told. It is 
" saving, if it believes that, be it little or great." ^ 

When, therefore, our opponents say, that certain funda^ 
mental doctrines of the Christian faith are not to be found 
clearly and fully revealed in Scripture, but that we must rely 
upon Tradition for certain parts, and a full development of 
them ; they are, in fact, sapping the very foundations of the 
Christian faith, by taking from underneath it the sure support 
of the Written Word, and making the rotten pillars of Tradition 
usurp its place. And when we see, how clearly these truths 
are laid down in Scripture, it is difficult to suppose, that such 
an assertion can be made, but from the desire of making use 
of it on other occasions in defence of propositions for which 
the testimony of Tradition alone, if even t/tat, can be pleaded. 
But our op])onents, with the Romanists, know well the 
influence and convenience of the argument, (when pressed 
with the objection that the testimonies of certain Fathers can 
never be taken as sufficient proof of some of the doctrines they 
have added to the faith,) that we have nothing better to depend 
upon for the full statement of some of the most fundamental 
points of faith ; and they allege the obscurity of Scripture, and 
the variety of interpretations given to it, and various other argu- 
ments, as proofs of the imperfection of its statements on these 
points. - The consequence of which is, that some, alarmed at 
the idea of such doctrines being questioned, are, as it were, 
frightened into the admission of their conjoint rule made up 
of Scripture and Tradition ; and thus the truths of divine 

' Newman's L«x«t. on Rom. &.c. p. ^13, 
* Soe iwrtk-ularly Tract 85. 
N 2 


revelation, and the dreams of the human imagination, are 
placed side by side as standing upon the same foundation, and 
entitled to the same respect. While others, who arc indisposed 
to the reception of the truths of revelation, finding that they 
arc nitide to depend upon the testimony of a few fallible men, 
instead of the declarations of the inspired Apostles, feel no 
hesitation in at once rejecting them. 

Such are the dangers to which the Christian faith itself i« 
exposed, through the statements of our opponents. To prove 
the necessity of our receiving, as divine, that Patristical 
Tradition on which the peculiarities of their system rely for 
support, they find fault with that which can alone be shown 
to be a revelation from God, and represent it as imperfect and 
obscure, and such as cannot teach men the true faith. 

But, whatever may be its relative imperfection or obscurity, 
one thing is clear, and cannot be too frequently impressed 
upon the mind of the reader, that if it be our sole divine 
informant, it has the perfection and entireness for which we 
here contend — namely, that it points out all we can know to be 
revealed or are required to believe ; and, moreover, all those rites 
that we can know to be of divine institution. If it is our sole 
divine informant, it is the only authoritative source of all re- 
ligious truth, " Tradition" having no authority over the con- 
science, either as the interpreter or supplement of Scripture ; 
and, moreover, of all those rites that are to be considered as 
of divine institution. The proof, therefore, already given, 
that it is our sole divine informant, is a complete proof of 
what we contend for in this chapter. 

But, our opponents endeavour to prove their case by ex- 
amples, and adduce various doctrines and rites, received by us 
as of divine origin, as proofs, that we must either admit that 
Holy Scripture is inadequate to serve as a complete Rule of 
faith, and that for some portion of divine revelation we are 
indebted to Patristical Tradition, or that we must give up 
some of the doctrines we now receive as divinely-revealed, and 
some of the rites we now hold to be of divine institution. 


It is desirable, therefore, for us to proceed to the conside- 
ration of the particular instances so alleged by them in support 
of their theory ; and I shall do so, Jirst, with reference to 
what we are in the habit of regarding as the fundamental 
articles of the faith, and, secondly, with reference to any other 
doctrines we receive as divinely revealed, and any rites we hold 
to be of divine institution. And I shall endeavour to show : — 

First, — That there is no such inadequacy in the Holy 
Scriptures, as it respects what are considered by our Church 
the fundamental articles of the faith, but that they are fully 
set forth in those Scriptures. 

Secondly, — That all the doctrines received by us as re- 
velations from God, and therefore articles of faith, and all the 
rites held by us to be of divine institution, are delivered to us 
in the Holy Scriptures ; so that there is no article of faith 
maintained by us, of which, or any part of which, our belief 
rests upon the testimony of Tradition, our belief in all such 
points resting wholly upon Scripture; and no rite received by 
us as of divine institution on any other than Scripture testi- 

We maintain, then : — 

First, — That there is no such inadequacy in the Holy 
Scriptures, as it respects what are considered by our Church 
the fundamental articles of the faith, but that they are fully 
set forth in those Scriptures. 

To guard against misrepresentation, however, let it be 
remembered, that when we assert this, we mean, that all those 
articles are in Scripture either in express terms, or by neces- 
sary consequence. Thus, to recur to the example already given, 
the doctrine that the Holy Spirit is God, is fully set forth in 
Scripture ; because, though we do not meet with the pro- 
position in terms, the doctrine flows by necessary consequence 
from what is contained there. It is obvious to the reason of 
an unprejudiced mind, from what is said in the Scriptures, 
that the Holy Spirit is God. And this is all that could 
reasonably be expected from such a revelation. It is not to 
be supposed, that all the vagaries and distortions of truth that 

182 THE CHRISTIAN llM.Jt.lo.N 

heretics might invent during tljc whole period of the Chureh'i 
course, sliould be met in direct terms by counter propositions 
in the Scriptures. In fact, however many points might have 
been so met, those that were not thus met, would have Weu 
precisely the points to which heretics would have had recourse. 
And if it was not to be expected, that they should be thus met 
in the Scrij)tures, is it probable, that they would be more 
explicitly met in the oral teaching of the Apostles ? If not, it 
follows, that, even if we had the oral tt:aching of the Apostles, 
we might probably find in it nothing that would be more 
definitively and in terms condemnatory of the various heresies 
that have existed in the Church, than what we meet with in 
the Scriptures. The revelation made to us in the Scriptures, be 
it remembered, is not to be confined to the particular words 
there made use of, but extends to the sense which those words 
convey to the mind. 

That all the fundamental articles of the faith are, in the 
sense just mentioned, fully set forth in Scripture, may be 
shown by various arguments. Of these, some of the principal 
have been already noticed in the preceding chapter, as proofs 
that Scripture is the Rule of faith ; and, therefore, I shall 
here only briefly recapitulate them, as my object here is, more 
especially, to meet the particular instances pointed out by our 
opponents as proofs that we do receive, as fundamental, certain 
truths that are not clearly revealed in Scripture. 

That the fundamentals of the faith, then, are fully set forth 
in Scripture, appears — 

First, from Scripture itself. 

Secondly, from the nature of the Scriptures of the New 
Testament, as it respects the object for which they were 

Thirdly, from the committal of the Gospel to writing at all, 
which is a strong argument in favour of the whole revealed 
faith, that is, in all important points at least, having been 
committed to writing. 

Fourthly, from the admission of our op])onents, that in 
necessary points the title of the Rule of faith cannot be denied 
to Scripture. 


Fifthly, from the admission of our opponents, that in all 
fundamental points Scripture is the document of proof, and that 
Scripture-proof of all such doctrines is absolutely necessary. 

All these arguments, which we have already entered into at 
length, necessarily go to prove, that Scripture fully sets forth 
all the essentials of the faith, all that it is necessary to know 
in order to obtain salvation. 

Nor is it at all requisite, in order to establish this position, 
that we should be able to give an exact catalogue of the fun- 
damental articles. All the arguments we have yet mentioned 
are perfectly general, and do not affect the question of the 
precise nature of the fundamental points, but show, that what- 
ever those points may be, they must be set forth in the Scrip- 
tures. The favourite objection of many Romanists, therefore, 
that we must settle precisely which are the fundamentals of 
the faith, before we can prove that Scripture fully sets them 
forth, is altogether groundless. 

But, as the argument which our opponents seem principally 
to rely on as a proof of this alleged imperfection of Scripture 
is, that we do in fact maintain certain points as fundamental 
articles of the faith which are not fully set forth in Scripture,^ 
I shall now proceed to show, by a consideration of the instances 
they adduce, that we have also the a posteriori argument in 
our favour, and that no article of the faith, received by us as 
fundamental, can be mentioned, which is not fully set forth, 
either in express terms, or by necessary consequence, in Scrip- 

(1) The doctrine which is most frequently and prominently 
objected to us here, both by our opponents^ and the Uomanists, 
is, that of the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father. 
Not that they in terms deny, that this doctrine may be proved 
by Scripture, nay, on the contrary, they maintain (i. e. in their 
own meaning of the words) that it may be fulli/ proved by Scrip- 
ture ; but they affirm, (how consistently the reader will judge/) 
that it is not fully delivered in Scripture! And the reason is 

» See Keble's Serm. pp. 32, 41, 141—3 ; Newmah's Lett. pp. 134, 269. 
' See Keble'3 Serm. pp. 32, 41, 141—3 ; Newman's Lect. pp. 134, 269. 


this, that the passages of Scripture on the subject do not in 
themselves carry a certain sense to the mind of the reader ; 
but if the reader will allow " Tradition" to tell hiin what they 
mean, tiien, taking thetn in that meaning, and no other, they 
will be proofs to him that the doctrine delivered by Tradition 
is the one maintained in Scripture. I am eonstrained to say, 
that it is difficult to conceive how such self-deception can be 

To rejdy to this example, by pointing out those passages of 
Scripture by which this doctrine is manifested, would, I fear, 
be useless ; because it is to be supposed, that our op|)oncnt8 
have already considered them, and are prepared to deny, that 
they do fully set forth the doctrine in question. I will, there- 
fore, meet them on their own ground, and show them that 
they are at issue in this matter with those whom they acknow- 
ledge as their great and [as a body) authoritative teachers, the 

What account does Athanasius give us of the way in which 
this doctrine, when called in question, was made out by the 
Nicenc Fathers ? They " collected together out of the Scrip- 
" tures these words, the brightness, the fountain, and the river, 
" and the image of the substance, and that expression, ' In thy 
" light shall we see light,' and that, * I and my Father are 
" one;' and then at last they wrote more plainly and com- 
" pendiously, that the Son was consubstantial with the Father, 
" for all the foregoing expressions have this meaning." ^ And 
again still more clearly ; — " The bishops having observed their 
" hypocrisy in this. . . . were compelled again to collect the 
" sense of the matter from the Scriptures, and to repeat in 
" plainer words what they had said before, and write that the 
" Son was consubstantial with the Father.'^- 

What says Diouysius of Alexandria on this point ? " Al- 
though," he says, " I have not found this very word [i. e. 
" consubstantial] in the Scriptures, yet collecting their mean- 
" ing from the Scriptures themselves, I became assured, that he, 

1 Athan AS. Ad Afr. Episc. Epist. § 6. See the passage below, c. 10, § 3, 
uuder « Council of Nice." 2 See the passage, ibid. 


" being the Son and the Word, could not be of a different 
" substance from the Father/'^ 

Hear, also, Epiphanius. 

" But," he says, " if the word [i. e. consubstantial] were not 
" in the Divine Scriptures, thuuyh it is, and plainly occurs in 
" the Law and in the Apostles and Prophets. . . . yet never- 
" theless it would be lawful for us to use, for the interests of 
" true religion, a convenient word," &c.^ And again, still 
more plainly ; " The word substance does not occur in the 
" letter in the Old and New Testament, but the sense is to be 
"found everywhere."^ 

So Ambrose refers entirely to the Scriptures for this doc- 
trine, and says, — " I would not, O sacred Emperor, that you 
" should put your faith in my argument and disputation. Let 
" us interrogate the Scriptures, let us interrogate the Apostles, 
" let us interrogate the Prophets, let us interrogate Christ."* 
And again, — " When I consider, O august Emperor, how it 
" is that the human race has so erred, that the majority, alas, 
" follow different opinions concerning the Son of God, the 
" wonder to me is not by any means that human learning has 
" erred concerning heavenly things, but that it has not been 
" obedient to the Scriptures."' 

And Augustine says, — " Against the impiety of the Ariau 
" heretics the Fathers made a new word — consubstantial ; but 
" they did not by this word express a new thing ; for the 
" name consubstantial is the same in meaning as, ' I and my 
" FUther are one,' namely, of one and the same substance."* 

* Ei Kal fii] t))v \f^iv ravrrty fupov iv toTs 'Yf>a(pais, oAA' i^ axntiiv rwy ypa- 
<pu>v rhy yovy avyayaywy, Hyyuy Sri vihs &y Kcd \6yoi, oil ^fyos tty ftri rijs oixrias 
Tov TlaTp6s. DiONYS. AiKX. m Atuan. Epist. Desent. Biouys. § 20. Op. ed. 
lieu. toui. i. p. 257. 

^ See below, e. 10. § 3; under " Epiphanius." 
» lb. 

* Ambros. De fid. lib. i. c. 6. See below c. 10. § 3 ; under " Ambrose." 

* De fid. lib. iv. c. 1. Sec Mow, c. 10. § 5; under " Ambrose." 

* " Adversus impietatem quociue Arianorum ha?reticonim no\'um nomen pa- 
tris [patres] HomoiJsiou condideruut ; sed non rem uovam tali uomiue signa- 
verimt; hoc enim vocatur Hoiuoiision, quod est, Ego et Pater mium sumus, 
uuius videlicet ejusdemquc substantia." ArocsT. Comment, in Joh. Ev. c. 16. 
Tract. 97. § 4. Op. torn. iii. pt. 2. col. 738; and see Contr. Maximin. lib. ii. 
c. 14. § 3. torn. viii. col. 704. 


It would be easy to add to these passages fi'oin other 
Fathers, but I suppose these will be considered sufficient. • 

And as it respects the divines of our own Church, the 
reader will see, in the extracts given hereafter from the works 
of Jewel, Jeremy Taylor, &c., that the same view is stoutly 
iiinintained by them against the opposite doctrine of the 
Church of Romc.'^ 

Nay, let us hear Bellarmine himself on this point. When 
pressed in the controversy on Tradition by that passage of 
Augustine, in which he tells the Arian Maximinus, that for 
an authoritative decision of the point in dispute, they must 
not go either to the Council of Nice or that of Ariminum, but 
at once to Scripture, he says, that the cause was twofold ; 
first, that he might argue more expeditiously, and, secondly, 
" because in the questions then at issue, there were in Scrip- 
" ture the very clearest testimonies, which beyond doubt are to 
" be preferred to all the testimonies of Councils."^ 

I hope, then, that I may conclude, not only from the 
language of Scripture itself, but from the testimony of those 
to whom our opponents look as their guides in such matters, 
that we want nothing but Scripture for the doctrine of the 
consubstantiality of the Son with the Father. 

(2) It is still more painful to have to add, that even the doc- 
trine of the pre-existence of Christ as maintained against the 
Socinians, has been brought forward in this controversy as one 
upon which Scripture is not sufficiently explicit, and which 
therefore must be defended from Tradition. Nay, we are 
told, that if we were good logicians we should be Socinians.* 

On this point I shall only refer the reader to the extract 
already given in a former page from Dr. Hawardine, which 
will show him, that even some Romanists have opposed such a 
notion, and maintained, that this is a point in which Scrip- 

1 For others, see the extracts from Ctbil. Aij:x. &c. below in c. 10. 

" See chap. 11. below. 

' " Quia in illis qusestionibus quae tunc erant, exstabant in Scriptura clarissima 
testiniouia, quae sine dubio anteponenda sunt omnibus Conciliorum testimoniis." 
Bellaem. De Verb. Dei, Ub. iv. c. 11. 

** See extracts from Dr. Hook, in p. 167 above. 


tare is clear, and which " may be decided by the Holy Scrip- 
ture alone," and have ridiculed the notion upon which Dr. 
Hook relies, that because men contest the matter, therefore it 
is not decided in Scripture. ^ 

To what other points Mr. Kcble may allude, when he tells 
us, that we are indebted to " Tradition " for the full doctrine 
of the Trinity,* I know not, but fear that upon the same 
grounds on which he has attributed to it our knowledge of 
the doctrine of the consubstantiality of the Son with the 
Father, he would join with the Romanists in tracing to it our 
knowledge of various other points, namely, the doctrine that 
the Father is unbegotten, that of the divinity of the Hi»ly 
Spirit,^ and that also of his procession from the Father and 
the Son, our knowledge of all which is traced by the Roma- 
nists to Tradition. Not that they would deny, any more than 
our opponents, that there are some notices of these doctrines 
in Scripture, and some testimonies which, when explained and 
developed by Tradition, speak these doctrines. But they 
assert, that they are not fully delivered in Scripture. 

(3) As it respects the first of these, viz., that the Father is 
unbegotten, they defend themselves by a passage of Augustine, 
which we need only connect with the context, to show that 
Augustine was of a completely opposite opinion. He says, in 
a letter to Pascentius, that when the latter presented to him 
his Creed with the word " unbegotten '* (ingenitum) in it 
applied to the Father, he asked him where this word was to be 
found in the Scriptures ; with the meaning, I fully admit, that 
though not in the Scri])tures, it was to be received. But why 
did he do this ? His own words tell us. " But this," he 
says, " I did, because, in the beginning of our discourse, when 
" Arius and Eunomius were mentioned .... you anathematized 

' See p. 142 above. 

* Keble's Serm. pp. 32, 41. 

'^ Thus speaks the 85th of the Tracts for the 1111168 : " A person who denies 
the Apostolical succession of the ministry, because it is not clearly taught in 
Scriptui'e, ought, I conceive, if consistent, to deny the Godhead of the Holy 
Ghost, wliich is nowhere literally stated [he means " if catuiateiU " " not 
clcai-ly taught"] in Script»u-c." (j). 4.) 


" both Arius and Eunoniius, and then immediately demanded, 
*' that we also should anathematize the HomouHion .... You 
" then vehemently demanded, that we should show this word to 
" you in the Seriptures, and you would immediately join in 
" communion with us. We replied, that, since we spoke in 
" Latin, and that was a Greek word, it was first to be inquired 
" what Ilomousion was; and then the demand to be made that 
" it should be shown in the Sacred Books. You, on the contrary, 
" often repeating the word itself. . . . vehemently urged, that we 
" should show the very word which is, [or signifies] Homoii- 
" sion, in the Sacred Books ; we at the same time over and 
" over again reminding you, that, inasmuch as our language 
" was not Greek, it was first to be interpreted and explained 
" what Ilomoiision meant, and then it was to be inquired for in 
'* the Divine Writings ; because, altlumgh, perchance, the word 
" itself cou/d not be found, yet tlie thing itself might be found. For, 
" ivhat is more litigious, than, when the thing itself is clear, to 
" contend about a name ? ^ Inasmuch, therefore, as this conversa- 
" Hon had passed between us, after the matter proceeded to your 
" wi-iting your Creed, as I have mentioned, although I saw 
" nothing in the words contrary to my Creed, and therefore said 
" that I was ready to subscribe, I inquired, as I said, whether 
" the Divine Scripture contained this word, that the Father was 
" unbegotten. And when you replied that it was written, I 
" immediately asked you to show me where. Then one who 
" was present, a companion, as far as I understand, of your faith, 
" says to me, ' What ! then, do you say that the Father is 
" begotten V I replied, ' I do not say so.' Then he said, 
" 'If, therefore, he is not begotten, he must be unbegotten.* 
'' To whom I said, ' You see that it may happen, that, even 
" respecting a word which is not in the Divine Scripture, a 
" reason may be given, showing that it may be rightly used. 
" So, therefore, as to Homoiision, which we were required to 
" show was authorized by the Divine books, although we mag 

' " Quia etsi fortasse nomen ipsmn non inveniretnr, res tamen ipsa inveni- 
retur. Quid est enim contentiosius, quam, ubi de re constat, certare de 
nomiixe ?" 


" not find there the word itself, it may happen, that we may find 
" tfiat to which this word may be judged to be ri(/htly applied.* " ^ 

This passage, therefore, taken with its context, shows that 
Augustine was, in fact, contending, both that this doctrine and 
that of the consubstantiahty were fully set forth in Scripture, 
although these two particular words, " consubstantial " and 
" unbegotten," were not there ; and that the thing only, and 
not the 7iame, was worth contending about. And, further on, 
he clearly attributes the errors of men respecting Christ to 
their not studying the Scriptures.^ 

And such passages as this clearly, though indirectly, show, 
what was Augustine's sole rule of faith in such points ; for, 
had he held the views of our opponents, he would have argued 
on these points as they do. But this by the way, as we shall 
advert to this more fully hereafter. 

(4) Further, as to the doctrine of the divinity of the Holy 
Spirit, what says Augustine, in the very letter to which we 
havQJust referred? "Now, for a short space," he says, "con- 
" template the passages of Scripture which compel us to confess 
" one Lord God, whether we are interrogated respecting the 
" Father only, or the Son only, or the Holy Spirit only, or of 
" the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit together."^ 

Still more strongly speaks the great Athanasius, in his 
Epistle to Serapion, against those who denied the divinity of 
the Holy Spirit. " To all created beings," he says, " and 
" especially to us men, it is impossible to speak worthily of 
" things which are beyond our power of expression ; and it is 

' August. Eplst. 238. Ad Paac. c. i. Op. torn. ii. col. 854. 

* " Homines auteiu minus intelligentes quid propter quid dicatur patentee 
volunt habere sententias ; et, Scripturis no» diUyenter gcrutatU, ctun arripiunt 
dt'feusionem cujusque opinioiiis, et ab ea vel imuquam vel difficile deflec- 
tuntur, dum docti atque sapientes magis putari quam esse eoncupiisount, ea 
quic jiropter formam servi dicta smit, volunt transferre ad formam Dei, et 
rm*sus qua> dicta smit, ut ad se invieem personae referantur, volunt nonuna em 
natiu-iB atque substantias.'' Id. ib. c. 2. col. 857. 

' " Jam nunc paululum intuere qua? Sc-ripturanmi eloquia n(» cogant unum 
Dominum Deuni contiteri, sive tantum de Patrc, sive tantuni de PiUo, sive 
tantum de Spiritu Sancto, sive sinud de Patre et Filio et Spiritu Sancto inter- 
rogemur." Avgist. Kp. 238. Ad Pasc. c. 3. Op. torn. ii. col. 858, 9. 


" still more audacious for those who cannot express them, to 
" excogitate new words beyond those of the Scriptures"^ And, 
again, still more clearly; — "Such an attempt, therefore, being 
" full of madness, and worse, let not any one any longer ask 
" such questions, but learn only what is in the Scriptures ; for 
" the illustrations we have of this matter in them, are sufficient 
" of themselves, and need no addition."'^ 

To which I will only add the words of Bishop Pearson, (one 
our opponents' witnesses,) — "Tlie Scrij)tures do clearly mani- 
'^ fcst the same Spirit to be God, miuI term him phnnhj anil 
" expressly so."^ 

(5) And, as it respects the doctrine of the procession of the 
Holy Spirit from the Son, as well as from the Father, it is said 
by Augustine, after he has adduced various passages of Scrip- 
ture in which it is contained, — " And there are many other 
" passages by which this is clearly shown, that the Holy Spirit 
" is the Spirit both of the Father and the Son."* Nay, we 
may quote several of the Romanists themselves in behalf of its 
being fully set forth in Scripture. " Although," saith Thomas 
Aquinas, " it may not be found in so many words in Holy 
" Scripture, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son, 
" yet it is found, as far as concerns the sense ; and par- 
" ticularly where the Son says, John xvi., speaking of the 
" Holy Spirit, * He shall glorify me, for he shall receive of 
" mine.' " And he proceeds to adduce other passages.' So 
also Becanus ; — " Although it may not be in express terras in 

* 'EoTi }xkv yiip iraai rols yf yrfraiis, fiiXurra. 5« rif/iiv rots OLvOpuywots, aSvyarov, 
€ira|io)y fiirfly irtpt rwy a-ro^prtruv. ToKfitipirfpov Se -riKiv fi^ Svyofifvois \4yfiy, 
ivivofiy M Tovraiy Kcuyortpas Xf^en -rapa ras rwv ypcupwy. Atha>"AS. Ep. 1. 
ad Scrap. § 17. Op. torn. i. pt. 2. p. G66. 

^ TlfpirTi]i roiyapovv koI wXeoy fjxivias oUffrji T^r toiouttjj iirixtipiiaeus, firiKtri 
Toiavrd ris epccrdTu, fj ix6vov to. iv toTls ypa<pa7s fiayOaytrw. AiirdpKTi yap Kcd 
iKaya t^ ey ravrais Keifieya irepl rovrov TrapaSeiyfiara. AthaXAS. Ep. 1. ad 
Strap. § 19. Op. torn. i. pt. 2. p. 667. 

3 Peabsox, On the Creed, Art. 8. 

* " Et multa alia sunt testimonia quibus hoc evidenter ostenditiir, et Patris 
et Filii esse Spiritiun, qui in Trinitate dicitur Spiritus Sanctiis." ArorsT. 
Comment, in Joh. Ev. c. 16. Tract. 99. § 6. Op. torn. iii. pt. 2. coL 747. 

* " Licet per verba non inveniatur in Sacra Scriptura^ qnod Spirittis Sanctns 


" the Scriptures, yet, nevertheless, it may be clearly deduced 
" from thence." 1 

Nor need we be at all surprised at this j for there is much 
contradiction among the Romanists themselves on such points. 
For, though they are agreed, that Tradition is necessary, even 
for the fundamental points, yet as to the points for which it is 
necessary, they seem far from agreed. And I believe that for 
all these points, we could easily prove, upon the testimony of 
Romanists, both that they are fully set forth in Scripture, 
and also that they are not. And the fact is, that, in general, 
if they are writing expressly upon a particular doctrine, then 
they can see and admit, that Scripture is full and clear on the 
point ; but if they are advocating the necessity of Tradition 
against the Protestants, then there is hardly a doctrine which 
is fully and clearly set forth in the Scriptures. 

Lastly, thus speaks our opponents* own witness. Bishop 
Pearson. " As, therefore, the Scriptures declare expressly, 
" that the Spirit proceedeth from the Father, so do they also 
" virtually teach, that he proceedeth from the Son. From 
" whence it came to pass, in the primitive times, that the 
" Latin Fathers taught expressly the procession of the Spirit 
" from the Father and the Son; because, by good consequence, 
" they did collect so much from those passages of the Scripture 
" which we have used to prove that truth." ^ 

Further, if it be not fully and clearly set forth in the Scrip- 
tures, how can we be certain of it at all, even if we were to 
admit our opponents' system ? For, neither they nor the 
Romanists can, upon their oum principles^ say, that this doc- 
trine is clearly delivered by the unanimous consent of the 
Fathers, when the whole Greek Church have for centuries of 

prooeUit a Filio, iiiveiiitiir tanien quantum ad sensum, et praecipue ubi dicit 
Filius, Job. 16., De Spiritu S. l(K|ueii3, Ille me clarificabit, quia de meo acci- 
pict." TnOM. Aquix. Summ. Tbeol. 1. q. 36. Art. 2. ed. Paris. 1631. p. 83. 

' " Lieet express** non habeatur in Seripturis, pot^t tamen evidenter inde 
deduci, Spiritum Sanctum prooedere, non tantum a Patre, sed etiam a Filio." 
Maetis. Becan. Summ. Thpolog. Scbolast. P. 1. Tract. 2. c. 6. q. 2.— Ed. 
Paris. 1630. fol. p. 118. 

* Peahson, On tbe Creetl. Art. 8. 


denied, that the primitive Fathers of their Chureh main- 
tained it. Nor eould this doctrine, as it appears to me, be 
clenrlij proved to have had the witness of the early Greek 
Fatliers in its favour. 

(6) Mr. Keble adds, that we are indebted to Tradition for 
the full doctrine of the Incarnation ;' which means, I suppose, 
that, like the Romanists, he maintains, that, because the 
Ncstorians, Eutyehians, and others, attempted to defend an 
unorthodox doctrine on this point from the Scriptures, there- 
fore the Scriptures cannot be supposed to set forth fully the 
orthodox doctrine respecting it. 

On this point, I shall merely refer the reader to the admi- 
rable Encyclical Letter of Leo L, in which he thus speaks: — 

" But what," he says, " can be worse, than to hold impious 
" notions, and not to believe the wistyind learned ? But into 
" this folly do those fall, who, when they are hindered in 
" arriving at a knowledge of the truth by some obscurity, do 
" not go to the words of the Prophets, nor to the Epistles of the 
" Apostles, nor to the testimonies of the Evangelists, but to 
" themselves. And on that account are teachers of error, 
" because they have not become disciples of the truth. For 
" what learning has he acquired from the sacred pages of the 
" New Testament, who does not even know the elementary 
*' points of the Creed itself ? And that which is uttered by 
" the voice of all the regenerate throughout the world, is not 
" yet received in the heart of that old man [viz. Eutyches] . 
" When ignorant, therefore, what he ought to think eoncem- 
" ing the incarnation of the Word of God, and not willing to 
" labour in the ivide field of the Holy Scriptures to gain the light 
" of understanding, he should at least have attended with an 
'' earnestly-attentive ear to that common and universally- 
" received confessioij, by which the whole body of the faithful 
" professes its belief in God the Father Almighty, and in 
" Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was bom of the 
" Virgin Mary, by the Holy Spirit, by which three sentences 
'' the devices of almost all heretics are destroyed. . . . But if 
* Keble's Scnn. p. 41. 


" he could not draw a correct knowledge of the truth from 
" this most pure fountain of the Christian faith, because, by 
" his own blindness, he had obscured the splendour of the 
" truth, when shining clearly before him, he should have sub- 
" mitted himself to the teaching of the Gospel, Matthew saying^ 
" ' The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of 
" David, the Son of Abraham ;* and should have sought the 
" instruction of the Apostolical preaching, and, reading in the 
" Epistle to the Romans, ^ * Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, 
" called to be an Apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 
" which he had promised before by his Prophets in the Holy 
" Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was made to him of 
'^ the seed of David, according to the flesh, [Rom. i. 1 — 3] 
" should have betaken himself with pious solicitude to the 
" pages of the Prophets, and would have found the promise of 
" God to Abraham, saying, ' In thy seed shall all nations be 
" blessed.* [Gen.xxii. 18.] And that he might have no doubt 
" respecting the reality of this seed, he should have followed 
" the Apostle, saying, ' To Abraham were the promises made.* 
" [Gal. 3.] " And so he proceeds to show how clearly and 
fully the doctrine is set forth in Scripture.^ 

> Tlio reatler will observe here the phrases " doctrina Eyvngdicft " and " Apo- 
stolica praxlieatio " used for the Scripture*, t'le former for the GuspeU, the latter 
for the Epistles, as is common with the Fathers, and most important to note in 
this controversy, especially from the mistake mada by Mr. Newman as to the 
meaning of such phrases. 

3 " Quid autem iniquius qnam impia sapere, et sapientioribus doctioribnsqne 
non credere ? Sed in hanc insipientiam eadunt, qui, cum ad oognoaoeodun 
veritatem aliquo imixnliuntur obsouro, non atl Propheticas vooea, non ad 
Apostolicas litcrsvs, nee ad Evangelicas Autoritates, sed atl semetipsos recurrunt. 
Et ideo magistri erroris eiistunt, quia veritatis diseipuli non fiiere. Quam 
enim oniditioncm de sacris Novi et Vetoris Tt^stameiiti paginis acquisivit, qui 
ncc ipsius quidem Syml>oli initia compreheiKlit ? Et quod per totum mundum 
omnium regeneratonim voce depromitur, istius adhue senis corde non capitur. 
Nescicns igitur, quid del)eret de Verbi Dei incamatione sentire, nee volens ad 
promerendum intelligentiae lumen in Sauctarum Soripturorum latitudine labo- 
nu-e, illara saltem commimem et indiscrctam confessionem solieito apprehen- 
disset auditu, qua fidelium xmiversitas profitetur credere se in Deum Patrem 
Oiunipotentem, et in Jesmn Christum Filium ejus unicum, Dominum nostrum, 
qui natus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine. Quibus tribus sententiis 
ouiuium fere htereticorum machina) destruuntur Sed si de boo 

\'0L. II. O 


Here, then, 1 suppose it is undeniable, that, for a know- 
ledge of the truth, men are sent to the Holy Scriptures; and 
that Jjco supposed, that it was impossible for a njan to have 
made himself at all acquainted with the Holy Scriptures, and 
not receive the ** initio." of the Creed, including the true doc- 
trine of the Incarnation. And he directs attention to the Creed 
for learning the doctrine of the Incarnation, only on tfu; sup- 
position that a man is "not willing to labour in the wide field of 
the Holy Scriptures to gain the light of understanding ; " and 
still further, so far from supposing, that the Creed was clearer 
or fuller than the Scriptures on the point, he urges, that if a 
man should not be able to obtain a correct knowledge of the 
faith from the Creed, he is bound to search the Scriptures 
with pious solicitude, and submit to the declarations which he 
finds there ; which Leo evidently considers to convey a clear 
and full declaration of the orthodox doctrine. Can there, 
then, be a more direct contradiction given to the notion that 
the full doctrine of the Incarnation is not in Scripture, than is 
contained in this celebrated letter of Leo, Mhich was publicly 
read and approved in the Council of Chalcedon, and is inserted 
in its Acts ? 

Our opponents, indeed, will find, that the early Fathers, far 
from taking the Tradition of earlier Fathers as part of their 
Rule of faith, or supposing that the full doctrine was only to 
be found there, in this as in other points made the Scriptures 
their Rule. " We," says Theophilus of Alexandria, when 
opposing the notion of the Origenists as to the pre-existence 

fidei Cliristianae fonte purissimo sincermn intellectum haurire non poterat, 
quia splendorem perspicuae veritatis obcajcatione sibi propria tenebrarat, doc- 
trinsB se Evangelicae subdidisset, dicente Matthaeo : Liber generationis Jegu 
C.iristi filii David Jilii Abraham : Apostolicaa quoque prajdicationis expetiitset 
instructum, et legens in Epistola ad Eomanos; Paulus servus Jetu Chri«ti, 

&c ad propheticas paginas piam solicitudiaem oontulisset, et 

invenisset promissionem Dei ad Abraham dicentis. In semine tuo benedicentur 
omnes gentes. Et ne de hujus seminis proprietate dubitaret, secutus faisset 
apostolum dieentem, Abrahce dicta sunt promissiones, &c. [GaL 3.]" Leoxis I. 
Epist. ad Fla^nanum Ep. Constautinop. ; lecta et approb. in Concil. Chalced- 
Vid. Acta ConeiL Cbalced. Act. 2.— Concil. ed. Labb. et Coss. 1671. torn. iv. 
col. 345, (ed. Hardouin 1714. torn. ii. col. 290, 291.) 


of the human soul of Christ, — ^" We, following the Rule of the 
" Scriptures, will preach with our whole heart and soul, that 
" neither his Hesh nor soul existed before he waa born of 
" Mary."i 

But further, our opponents, with the Romanists, attempt to 
show, that, however it may be with the fundamental articles 
of the faith, we receive at least various doctrines and practices 
as divinely revealed, some of which are not contained at all, 
and others but imperfectly noticed, in Scripture j and they 
take advantage of the appeals sometimes made by us to the 
practice of the Primitive Church on some points, as if they 
proved, that we were compelled sometimes to go to Tradition 
for the proof of doctrines and rites which we receive as divine, 
though we refuse to abide by it in other points. We shall 
therefore now proceed to consider the examples they bring 
upon this head, and show. 

Secondly, that all the doctrines received by us as reve- 
lations from God, and therefore articles of faith, and all the 
rites held by us to be of divine institution, are delivered to us 
in the Holy Scriptures ; so that there is no article of faith 
maintained by us, of which, or any part of which, our belief 
rests upon the testimony-of Tradition, our belief in all such 
points resting wholly upon Scripture ; and no rite received by 
us as of divine institution on any other than Scripture testimony. 

The principal passages in which our opponents have spoken 
of these points, are the following; in some of which the points 
of which we are now speaking are mixed up with those which 
we have already considered under the former head, but we 
quote the passages as they stand. " The matter of fact," says 
Mr. Newman, "is not at all made out, that there are no 
" traditions of a trustworthy nature. For instance, it is 
" proved by traditionary information only (for there is no 

' " Nos, Scripturaruni nonium sequeates,tota cordis audaeia praHlicemus, quod 
nee caro illiiis nee aiuuia fuerint, priustiuam de Maria nasctretur." Thboph. 
Alex. Ep. Pasch. II. § 8. See the whole passa^ below iu c. 10, § 3 ; under 
" Theophilus of Alexandria." 

o 2 


" Other way), that the text of Scripture is not to be taken 
" literally conecrning our washing one another's feet, while 
" the command to celebrate the Lord's Supper is to Ijc obeyed 
" in the letter. Again, it is only by tradition that we have 
" any safe and clear rule for changing the weekly feast from 
" the seventh to the first day. Again, our divines, such as 
" Bramhall, Bull, Pearson, and Patrick, believe that the Blessed 
" Mary was ' Ever Virgin,' as the Church has called her, but 
" Tradition was their only informant on the subject. Thus 
" there are true Traditions still remaining to us." (Ijcct. 
pp. 331, 5.) '* We consider the eucharist is of perpetual obli- 
*' gation, because the ages immediately succeeding the Apostles 
" thought so ; we consider the inspired Canon was cut short 
" in the Apostles, whose works are contained in the New Testa- 
" ment, and that their successors had no gift of expounding 
" the Law of Christ, such as they had, because the same ages 
" 80 accounted it." (lb. p. 37L) 

" It may be proved," says Mr. Keble, " to the satisfaction 
" of any reasonable mind, that not a few fragments yet remain 
" — very precious and sacred fragments of the unwritten 
" teaching of the first age of the Church. The paramount 
" authority, for example, of the successors of the Apostles in 
" Church Government ; the threefold order established from the 
" beginning ; the virtue of the blessed eucharist as a comme- 
" morative sacrifice ; infant baptism ; and above all, the 
" catholic doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity, as contained 
" in the Nicene creed. All these, however surely confirmed 
" from Scripture, are yet ascertainable parts of the primitive 
" unwritten system of which we yet enjoy the benefit. If any 
" one ask, how we ascertain them, we answer, by the appli- 
" cation of the well-known rule. Quod semper, quod ubique, 
" quod ab omnibus." (Keble's Serm. p. 32.) "Without its 
" aid [i. e. 'Primitive Tradition^], humanly speaking, I do not 
" see how we could now retain either real inward communion 
" with our Lord through his Apostles, or the very outward 
" face of God's Church and kingdom among us. Not to dwell 
" on disputable cases, how but by the tradition and practice of 


" the early Church can we demonstrate the observance of 
" Sunday as the holiest day, or the permanent separation of 
" the clergy from the people as a distinct order ? Or where, 
" except in the primitive liturgies, a main branch of that 
" tradition, can we find assurance, that in the Holy Eucharist, 
" we consecrate as the Apostles did, and consequently, that 
" the cup of blessing which we bless is the communion of the 
" blood of Christ, and the bread which we break the com- 
" munion of the body of Christ." (lb. p. 38.) " The points 
" of Catholic consent, known by Tradition, constitute the 
" knots and ties of the whole system ; being such as these : 
" the canon of Scripture, the full doctrines of the Trinity and 
** Incarnation, the oblation and consecration of the Eucharist, 
" the Apostolical Succession." (lb. pp. 41, 2.) "To which, 
" perhaj)s, it might have been well to add the doctrine of 
" Baptismal Regeneration." (lb. p. 75.) " How else could we 
" know, with tolerable certainty, that Melchizedek's feast is 
" a type of the blessed eucharist ? or that the book of Can- 
" tides is an allegory, representing the mystical union betwixt 
" Christ and his Church ? or that Wisdom, in the Book of 
" Proverbs, is a name of the Second Person in the Most Holy 
" Trinity ? All which interpretations, the moment they are 
" heard, approve themselves to an unprejudiced mind." (lb. 
p. 36.) To which he adds (p. 78) the doctrine " that conse- 
" cration by Apostolical authority is essential to the partici- 
" pation of the Eucharist," which he thinks was " universally 
received in the Primitive Church," and may be accepted by us 
on the evidence of a passage in Ignatius, even if it could not 
be " at all proved from Scripture," which, however, he thinks 
it may, " in a great measure, to the satisfaction of unpre- 
judiced minds." 

To these may be added the following, from the 85 th of the 
"Tracts for the Times." "Even though Scripture be con- 
" sidered to be altogether silent as to the intermediate state, 
" and to pass from the mention of death to that of the Judg- 
" ment, there is nothing in this circumstance to disprove the 
" Church's doctrine, (if there be other grounds for it,) that there 
" is an intermediate state, and that it is important, that in it 


" the souls of the faithful are purified, and grow in grace, that 
** they pray for us, and that our prayers benefit them," (p. 48.) 
This doctrine, therefore, the author of the tract would evidently 
class nniong those which we are now considering, either as one 
about which Scripture spoke indistinctly and obscurely, or 
might he considered by some as altogether silent. And we 
may observe from this passage, that there are, in the view of 
our opponents, important Church d/jctrines, about which, if 
Scripture " be considered to be altogether silmt," it matters 
not. There are "other grounds" of proof in Patristical Tra- 
dition. And if Patristical Tradition be what our op])onent8 
represent it to be, it is sufficient for the proof of such doctrines. 
And so speaks the author of Tract 79, entitled, "On Purgatory." 
" It can only," he says, " be an article of faith, supposing it is 
" held by Antiquity, and that unanimously. For such things 
" only are we allowed to maintain as come to us from the 
" Apostles ; and that only, urdinnrily speakiny, has evidenco 
" of so originating, which is witnessed by a number of inde- 
" pendent witnesses in the early Church. We must have the 
" unanimous consent of Doctors as an assurance that the 
" Apostles have spoken." (p. 25.) And they are only consistent 
in making these statements, that is, consistent as far as their 
system is concerned, not with themselves, because, out of 
regard, I suppose, to the prejudices of Protestants, they every 
now and then introduce statements of a very different com- 
plexion. I do not, of course, mean with any intention to 
mislead, but their position involuntarily leads them to do so.^ 

' In the same tract (i.e. Tract 85) pp. 9 et seq., the anthor enumerates 
Tarious ordinances and doctrines about which " little is raid in Scriptm-e," in 
order to meet a supposetl argument that little is said there as to some of their 
favo\u*ite notions, and he accordingly mentions various points as either not taught 
in so many words in Scripture, or having only so many texts relating to them. 
Tliis list I do not notice here, because it is beside the question as far as our ar- 
guments are concerned. We do not ask, whether every doctrine is taught in 
so many words in Scripture, but whether, virtually, it is clearly there ; nor 
how many texts support a doctrine, but whether the doctrine Ls clearly in those 
texts. And when he asks us, " what doctrines would be left to us, if we de- 
manded the clearest and fullest e\-idence," (p. 12.), we reply, all those which 
either follow immediately by just and necessary inference from Scripture, or 
are supportetl by even one clear passage of Scripture. 


They are committed to two opposite »ystenis. Having embraced 
the great principles upon which Popery is founded, though 
perhaps not quite satisfied with the whole superstructure 
which Rome has built upon them, while, partly from personal 
attachment, and partly from dislike of some parts of Romanism, 
they remain members of the Church of England, and are con- 
sequently obliged to explain their tenets so as to make them 
appear consistent with the authorized documents of our Church, 
they are continually uttering contradictory statements. 

The cases here enumerated (which, I need hardly say, are 
precisely the examples adduced by the Romanists) are of 
various kinds, and not all to be met in the same way. Some 
of them rest, or are supposed to rest, on Scripture and Tradi- 
tion together, others on Tradition alone ; though there is by 
no means a universal agreement in the classification of them 
in this respect, some writers referring to Scripture and Tradi- 
tion together what others make to rest on Tradition alone. 
Moreover, some of these doctrines we reject ; others, as 
dependent on Tradition only, we look upon as uncertain, and 
not to be authoritatively propounded as of divine revelation or 
obligation. For others we find plain evidence in Scripture, 
though we may appeal to the writings of the Fathers in confirma- 
tion of the correctness of our deductions. And in matters relating 
to the practice of the Church, with respect to facts and usages 
of which the senses of the writers were cognizant, we may use 
those writings as conclusive evidence that such facts occurred 
and such usages were more or less adopted in the Church in 
their times. And further, as to the subject matter of these 
examples, it is of several different kinds, most of them being 
points relating to the practice of the Church, that is, eccle- 
siastical ordinances, rites, and usages, some of them being 
points purely doctrinal, and some being points which concern 
matters of fact and things somewhat different from both the 
former. In our consideration of them we shall classify them 
according to this last arrangement. 

Of points relating to the practice of the Church, then, we 
find the following : — 


Relating to rites now disuHed, — 

(1) The non-literal acceptation of our Lord*8 words rcsi)cet- 
ing washing one another's feet. 

(2) The non-ohservance of the seventh day as a day of 
religious rest. 

llelating to ordinances and observances in use among us, — 

(1) Infant baptism. 

(2) The sanctification of the first day of the week. 

(3) The perpetual obligation of the Eucharist. 

(4) The identity of our mode of consecration in the 
Eucharist with the Apostolical. 

(5) That consecration by Apostolical authority is essential 
to the participation of the Eucharist. 

(G) The separation of the clergy from the people as a dis- 
tinct order. 

(7) The threefold order of the priesthood. 

(8) The government of the Church by Bishops. 

(9) The Apostolical Succession. 
Of ])oints j)urely doctrinal, — 

(1) Baptismal Regeneration. 

(2) The virtue of the Eucharist as a commemorative 

(3) That there is an intermediate state, in which the souls 
of the faithful are purified, and grow in grace ; that they pray 
for us, and that our prayers benefit them. 

Of points concerning matters of fact, and things that do 
not immediately belong either to the doctrines or rites of 
Christianity, — 

(1) The Canon of Scripture. 

(2) That Melchizedek's feast is a type of the Eucharist. 

(3) That the Book of Canticles represents the union between 
Christ and his Chui-ch. 

(4) That Wisdom in the Book of Proverbs refers to the 
Second Person of the Trinity. 

(5) The alleged perpetual virginity of the Mother of our 

To the doctrines above mentioned Romanists add, among 


others, the doctrine of Christ's descent into hell, and that of 
the validity of baptism administered by heretics. 

It is impossible not to see, that, among all these points, the 
st?-ess is laid upon those that concern the Guveniment and the 
Sacraments of the Church ; and our opponents, being persuaded 
that Patristical Tradition delivers their system on these points, 
(and it would be wonderful, if, in all the volumes of the 
Fathers, they could not find some passages in favour of a 
system so zealously patronized by those in whose hands these 
works were for centuries deposited, and through whom they have 
come down to us, though we deny that it is to be found there 
upon any full and consentient testimony,) are very anxious, 
that this Tradition should be recognised as a divine informant j 
and in the zealous prosecution of this enterprise, are desirous 
further of impressing it upon our minds, that almost all the 
other points relating either to doctrine or practice, yea even 
the fundamentals of the faith, must stand or fall according as 
this recognition takes place or not. 

Let us first consider the points relating to the practice of 
the Church ; and before we proceed to consider them indivi- 
dually, we would premise a few general remarks as to the 
principles which guide us in the consideration of such cases. 

In the first place it must be remembered, that we are far 
from maintaining here, with the early Puritans, that all the 
rites and usages of the Church must have Scripture authority, 
so that no Church can appoint and require from her members 
an observance of any rites or ceremonies, but what are ordained 
in Scripture, but we assert this only of points for which is 
claimed the authority of divine revelation, or the obligation of 
a divine or apostolical precept, binding Churches as well as 

In the second place, though we deny that the testimony of 
a few Fathers can be taken as such sufficient evidence of the 
teaching of the Apostles, or the Universal Church, in matters 
of faith or practice, as to be considered a divine informant 
supplementary to Scripture, we do not deny, but on the con- 


trary maintain, that the testimony of the early Fathers respect- 
ing facts and practices of which their tenses were cognizant, is 
sufficient to assure lis, that such facts and practices took place 
in their time in the Primitive Church, just as we might receive 
the testimony of our opponents as quite sufficient respecting 
facts and practices of our Church, ofvhich their senses had been 
coyvizanty while we took leave altogether to deny its sufficiency 
as a witness of the doctrines of our Church. 

And, thirdly, we maintain, that the usage of the Primitive 
Orthodox Church from Apostolical times (as far as it can be 
ascertained) may justly be taken as a guide to show us, how 
rites and practices enjoined in Scripture are to be carried into 
effect ; and also as a guide, to a certain extent, in its general 
rites and practices, that is, so far as to recommend them to 
our attention, and perhaps to justify modem Churches in 
following them, inasmuch as it is not probable, that, /rom the 
rery first, the Orthodox Church should have adopted a super- 
stitious or improper usage. It is on this ground that our 
Church defends her use of the sign of the cross, as — not 
necessary, but — justitiable.^ And, consequently, we receive 
with respect the traditions of the Primitive Church on such 
points, " meaning by traditions," as Hooker says, " ordinances 
" made in the prime of Christian religion, established with that 
" authority which Christ hath left to his Church for matters 
" indifferent, and in that consideration requisite to be observed, 
'•' till like authority see just and reasonable cause to alter them. 
*' So that traditions ecclesiastical are not rudely and in gross to 
*' be shaken off, because the inventors of them were men." ^ 

And thus, as it respects rites and usages, the practice of the 
Primitive Church, ascertained to us by the testimony of its 
writings, may be a useful guide to us, both where Scripture 
is silent, and where it does not enter so fully into particulars 
as to show, how the rites and ceremonies mentioned in it are 
to be carried out in all cases. 

But we maintain, with our Church, that those rites and 
oruinances only are essentially binding upon all churches and 
' See Canon 30. * Hooxeb's Eecles. Pol. hook v. c. 65. 


individuals that are required by Scripture authority ; because 
no others can be proved to have been required by the 
Apostles j and we shall show hereafter, that all the modems 
who profess to hold a contrary opinion are convicted by their 
own conduct of inconsistency ; for they who maintain, that a 
few Patristical assertions, that this or that rite was established 
by the Apostles, or observed by the Primitive Church, are to 
be taken as sufficient evidence of its Apostolical origin and 
binding nature, ought to contend for all those that are bo 

And even if the testimony of Antiquity on one or two 
points enjoined in Scripture should be considered sufficient to 
have proved their Apostolicity in the absence of Scripture tes- 
timony for them, this would make no practical difference in 
our argument. For, what we maintain is, that Scripture 
fully and clearly reveals all the fundamental points of faith 
and practice, and that there is no point of faith or prac- 
tice, not enjoined in Scripture, for which a traditional testi- 
mony can be adduced sufficient to show its Apostolical 

Our Church has wisely taken in this matter the middle 
course between that of the Romanists and that of our early 
Nonconformists, the former professing to take the statements 
of the remaining Fathers as an unerring guide, and the latter 
holding "that Scripture is the only rule of all things which in 
this life may be done by men,"^ and both of them in their prac- 
tice acting very inconsistently with their professed principles. 
When, therefore, the latter demanded, that nothing should be 
required by the Church but what was laid down in Scripture, 
because those precepts only can be proved to be Apostolical that 
are found in Scripture, our Church, while fully admitting the 
truth of the latter proposition, denied the justice of the demand, 
claiming a power to ordain rites and ceremonies such as might be 
necessary for the preservation of order and decency, and require 
their observance of her members ; and to cut off as much as pos- 
sible all occasion for cavilling, as well as from the inherent pro- 
' See Hooker's Ecol. Pol. l>k. ii. 


pricty of Huch a course, adhered as closely as possible to the 
primitive model. 

The reader will observe, then, that when admitting the non- 
necessity of any ecelesiastieal ordinances, rites, or observances, 
I am speaking with reference either to the Church at large, or 
some distinct and independent porticm of it ; and, with respect 
to such bodies, certainly maintain, that they are not bound by 
any injunctions but those of Scripture. With individuals, 
however, the case is different.^ We hold, with our Articles, 
that every Church has power to appoint its rites and cere- 
monies, and that its members are lx)und (within reasonable 
limits) to submit to such appointment. And further we main- 
tain, that every such body has authority in controversies of 
faith, so far as concerns its own communion, and may justly 
make a reception of what it considers the fundamentals of the 
faith essential to communion, nay, rather, is bound to do so; 
and while it allows a latitude of opinion on all other points, 
may, if it seem necessary for the good of the body at large, 
silence public disputations even on non-essential points. But 
this power should not only be cautiously exercised, but by the 
clear and well -ascertained voice of the whole body, for the 
obtaining of which (I feel constrained to add) due care has 
seldom been taken. 

We allow, then, that the Church has power to enjoin upon 
her members the observance of certain decent rites and cere- 
monies, and that such a power has been given her by God ; 
but we draw a distinction between that which God has en- 
joined on this head, and that which the Church has enjoined. 
The latter is not to be put forward as necessary to salvation, 

1 I': might also probably be feirly maintained, that when such a Comicil as 
that which met at Nice (the only one by the way having any pretensions to be 
called General) gave directions, such as were there given, respecting the day 
on which Easter was to be observed, it was expedient, and befitting the Chris- 
tian character, that all the different chiu-ches should acquiesce in such an ap- 
jxjintment until a similar authority had authorized an alteration; though 
nevertheless optional, becavise diflerent churches might have different customs 
m such matters, without any detriment to the peace of the Church, if there had 
been no ecclesiastical tyrants to make it a cause of dissension. See Socrat. 
Hist. Eccl. lib, v. c. 22. Sozom. Hist. Eccl. lib. \-ii. c. 19. 


nor therefore to membership in the Church Catholic, though 
he who breaks the unity of the Church on account of such 
things only, is certainly guilty of the sin of making a needless 
schism in the body. 

With respect, therefore, to the examples here adduced by 
our opponents, in which the practice of the Church is con- 
cerned, we may say generally, that our appeal to the records 
of the Primitive Church respecting them, (where we do so ap- 
peal,) is not an appeal to the doctrine there delivered, as if the 
few testimonies we can bring from the antient Fathers were 
sufficient evidence of the oral teaching of the Apostles, or of the 
doctrinal teaching of the Universal Church ; but an appeal to 
them, as showing what was the practice of the Church in those 
times. And this precisely agrees with what Mr. Keble him- 
self has admitted to be Bishop Taylor's view, viz. that, " in 
practical matters, it [i. e. Tradition] may be verified, but in 
doctrinal, with the exception of the Creed, it cannot,"^ which 
entirely overthrows Mr. Keble's system. 

We refer to those records, as showing what was \^\e practice 
of the Primitive Church ; which, on the one hand, may show 
us, what rites or usages mentioned in the Scriptures were not 
then considered to be of general obligation, and, on the other, 
what were, under ordinary circumstances, considered to be so, 
and how these latter were carried out ; and further, what rites 
and usages appeared to the Church, at that early period, to be 
decent and useful ; from which last we may at least infer, that 
such rites and usages are at any rate allowable at all times, 
and useful where our circumstances appear to be the same 
with those of the Apostolical Church, and thus obtain, from 
those records, information which, when used with discretion, 
may be of much service to the Church, and to the various inde- 
pendent local communities of which it is composed, in guiding 
them in decreeing the rites and ceremonies to be obser\'ed by 
their members. 

To proceed to the examples adduced, let us take first the 
2 Kkble's Senn. App. p. 71. 


case of rites abrogated, or usages mentioned in Scripture not 
observed by us. 

(1) We are required to show, why we do not wash one 
another's feet in obedience to what our Lord sayH, John xiii. 
12 — 15; a favourite example with the Romanists, as may be 
seen in Dr. Mihu'r'M " End of religious controversy ; " but our 
opponents should have been a little more careful than to borrow 
it, for, little as it avails the former, the latter have clearly 
made a mistake in adducing it, for their doctrine is, that such 
matters must be grounded upon the consent of the Primitive 
Church, and it is notorious, that the Primitive Churches 
differed in this matter. 

Let us suppose, then, (what we do not admit) that the 
language of Scripture is doubtful as to the nature of this 
command, that is, doubtful whether, instead of being an exhor- 
tation to acts of condescension and kindness towards our 
Christian brethren, to be fulfilled to the letter where the cir- 
cumstances are the same, (as in the case spoken of by the 
Apostle, 1 Tim. v. 10.), and in the spirit under all cir- 
cumstances, it is to be taken as a command to be fulfilled 
in the letter as a religious rite, in all times and places, how- 
ever unsuitable to the customs and habits of the country. 
Our inquiries, then, are to be directed to the records of 
the Primitive Church. But, first, of what nature is our 
inquiry ? Not, what doctrine the Primitive Church delivered 
on the subject, but, what was its practice ; and if we had found 
the practice generally established as a religious rite in the 
Primitive Church, or, on the contrar}', generally neglected, 
this testimony of ecclesiastical practice might, in perfect accor- 
dance with our views, fairly have determined the matter either 
way, so that even thus the instance is of no force in the present 
controversy. But the fact is, that the reference is altogether 
a mistake, for the practice of the Primitive Churches differed 
in this respect, and, consequently, we are compelled to exercise 
our own discretion in the matter. Thus, in the Church of 
Milan, the bishop washed the feet of the baptized, ia supposed 


obedience to this text, which the Roman Church did not do, on 
the ground that it was merely an example of humility, and 
not a religious rite, that was here commended.' And Augus- 
tine tells us, that many followed the latter course, and that 
some abrogated the custom altogether where it had been 
observed ; but that others, in order to show that they did not 
connect it at all with baptism, [and so make it a religious rite, 
having some mystical signification,] and yet not altogether 
give it up, observed it a few days after baptism ; and he adds, 
in the context, some remarks which show how little importance 
he attached to such matters, and how completely he considered 
them to be left to the discretion of each Church.^ It appears, 
then, that there was much difference of opinion on this subject 
in the Early Church, which, therefore, can be no sure guide 
to us in the matter. "And Augustine, be it observed, evidently 

' " Adsceudisti do foute ; quid Bocutuui est ? . . . suiumiu aaoerdcM pedes 
tibi lavit. Quid est istud iuysk>rium ? Audisti utique quia Douiinus, cum 
lavissct discipulis uliis pedes, venit ad Petrum. . . . Nisi kvero, inquit, tibi 
pedes, uou lutbebis uieeum partem. Nou iguonoMH qfood Saoloift BOBMHt 
banc cousuetudiueiii nun habeat, cujus tjpum in onmiban aeqaimur et ibnaam; 
Italic tameii coiisuetudiuem nou babet, ut pedes lavet. Vide ergo, forte |irop- 
ter multitudiueui declinavit. Sunt tamen qui dicant et excusare conentur, 
quia boc nou in uiysterio faciendum est, non in baptisiiiat«, uon in regenura- 
tiuue; sed quasi bospiti pedes lavaudi siut. Abud est buuiibtatis, aliud sanc- 
tificatioiiis. Deiiique audi quia uiyst«riuiu est et sanctiticatio ; nisi lavero 
tibi pedes, nou babebis mecuiu partem. Hoc ideo dico, nou quod abos repre- 
bendam, sed iiiea olbcia ipse cuiumendem. In omnibus eupio sequi Ecclesiam 
Koinuuam, sed tameii et not homines ^luum habemus ; ideo quod alibi rec- 
tius servatur et fum rectius custodimug. Ipsum sequimur Apostolmu Petrum, 
ipsius inbajremus devotioui. Ad boc Ecclesia Komaua quid respoudet r " Am- 
BKOS. De Sacrain. lib. 3. c. 1. Op. etl. Ben. vol. ii. col. 362, 3. 

' " De lavaudis vero pedibus, cum Domiuus boc propter formam htmiilitatis, 
propter quam docendam venerat, commendaverit, timt ipse consequenttrr ex' 
posuit, qu2£situm est quonam tem^xire potissimum res tauta etiam facto duce- 
retur, et illud tempus occurrit quo ipsa commendatio religiosius iiduereret. 
Sed ne ad ipsum sacrameutum baptism! videretur pertiuere, multi boc in con- 
suetudinem rocipere noluerunt. Nonnulli etiam de consuetucUue auferre non 
dubitaveruut. AUqui autem ut boc et sacratiore tempore commendarent, et 
a l)aptismi sacrameiito distinguerent, vel diem tertium octavarum, quia et 
ternarius numerus in multis saerauientis luaxime excellit, vel etiam ipsum 
octavum ut boc faccrent elegeruut." Acgcst. Ep. 55. c. 18. Ad Januarium. 
Op. torn, ii col. IM. On sucb points see Hoojleb, Eocles. Pol. iiL 10. 


thinks, that our Lord's own words show, that he merely meant 
to recommend mutual condescension to his followers. So 
that, I think, our Church may fairly say, with Ambrose, to 
her Romish or any other adversaries, " nos homines st^nsum 
habcmus," we have got our wits about us, and may surely be 
allowed to judge for ourselves in such a matter. 

(2) The next ciisc is that of tlie aljroLration of the seventh 
day Sabbath. 

We should feel no ditliculty in this case, even if wc were 
left to determine it by the records of the Primitive Church, 
because this also is a point of external observance, res|>ect- 
ing which wc have only to inquire as to the practice of the 
Church. But it is not a little strange that we should be 
told, that Tradition is necessary to certify us of this, when the 
Apostle says to the Colossians, " Let rtl» man judge you in 
" meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the 
" new moon, or of the sabbath days." (o-a/3/3dra)r) (Col. ii. IG.) 

And the practice of the Church, in the age immediately 
succeeding the Apostles, confirms what this and other passages 
of Scripture clearly intimate to us, viz., that the Jewish Sab- 
bath was not to be observed by Christians. Thus, Ignatius tells 
us, that even the converted Jews "no longer observed sab- 
baths ;"^ and Tertullian, that the Jewish Sabbath was abrogated 
by the Christian dispensation.^ The same thing is intimated to 
us by Justin jMartyr,^ whose words seem clearly to show, that 
the day was not at all observed in his time ; and although in 
the third and fourth centuries, the day appears to have been 
celebrated by the performance of public worship, which was 

' Oi iv iraXaiotj irpiyiuuriv iivaxrrpwpfvrfs, cji Kaj.v6n}ra iXxiios 1j\0oy, 
fii\K(Ti ffafifiarl^oyrfs, oAAck k. t. X. Igxat. Ep. ad Magnes. § 9. — Ap. Patb. 
Apostol. ed. Jacobson. torn. ii. p. 314. 

* Teettiil. Adv. Jud. cc. 2, 3, et 4. 

' JrsT. Makt. Dial, cum Tryph. § 18. p. 118. ed. Ben. The same conclu- 
sion appears to flow from what Pliny says of the Christians of his time, that 
they were accustomed to meet " stato die," on a set day (Ep. ad Traj.), which 
seems hardly reconcilable with the idea that both the seventh and first days 
of the week were so applied. And so when Paul stayed at Troas seven days, 
there appears to have been a public assembly for Christian worship on one day 
only, and that " the first day of the week." (Acts n. 7.) 


probably an innovation, and the prelude to that Judaical 
observance of the day against which the Church found it 
necessary to protest,^ still the practice of the Church was, not 
to abstain from labour on that day, or regard it as in itself a 
holy day, as we learn, among other testimonies, from one of 
the Laodicean canons, in the code of the Primitive Church, 
which directs, " that Christians must not Judaize and rest on 
the sabbath, but work on that day." ' 

If, then, we were destitute of the testimony we have quoted 
from Scripture on the subject, the clear evidence we have of 
the practice of the Apostolical Church might suffice ; and our 
argument would in no respect suffer from the admission of 
that evidence as conclusive. For, though the observance of a 
rite in the Primitive Church would not prove it to be of Apo- 
stolical ordinance, the general non-observunce of a rite in it 
may certainly be taken as a proof that such rite waa not pre. 
scribed for its observance by the Apostles. 

Let us pass on to the case of rites and ordinanoea ob$erved 
by us. 

(1) The First is the practice of infant baptism. 

It will not be denied, that we have at least the rite of 
baptism clearly enough prescribed in the Scriptures. 

What we have to inquire, then, is, whether we can also 
clearly and plainly gather from the Scriptures, that infants are 
proper subjects of that rite. 

It must be observed, however, that the question does not 
respect all infants indiscriminately, but those only that are 
born of believing parents, and so in a state different from those 
of the heathen, (1 Cor. vii. 14,) and are also presented to the 
Church by sureties, who undertake that they shall be educated 
in her communion.^ The question, then, is, whether the Church 

• See the Laodicean canon quoted below. 

CfffOat ainovi 4v Trj ain-p vfifpf: Can. Laod. 29. in Cod, Can. Univ. Eccl. can. 
133. Voelli et Just. Bibl. Jur. Can. Vet. vol. i. p. 52. Or in any edition of the 

' Cases may be supposed different from that mentioned above, where we 
might not be prepared to deny that baptism might be administered, as, for 


ii right in administering to an infant, brought to her under 
Buch circumstances — in whom unbelief cannot exist, and who 
is called by the Apostle holy on account of the faith of its 
parents — that rite which is a necessary introduction to its 
regular admission into the Christian Church, and consequently 
to its being formally placed in a position to receive the blessing* 
promised by God exclusively to the membt-rs of the Church, and 
hoping for God's blessing upon its administration ; the Church 
on her part undertaking to God, (on the promise of thechdd's 
sureties,) that the child shall be taught the terms of his cove- 
nant, and be brought up in obedience to it, and be called upon 
at the age of discretion personally to accept and promise obe> 
dience to it. 

First, then, we observe, that the command to baptize, and the 
instances we have in Scripture of the practice, are given in the 
most general and comprehensive terms. 

" Go and teach all nations," saith our Lord, " baptizing 
" them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the 
" Holy Ghost." (Matt, xxviii. 19.) And we find Lydia and 
"her household," the Philippian gaoler and "all his" and 
" the household" of Stephanas, baptized by the Apostles. 
(Acts xvi. 15, 33 ; 1 Cor. i. 16.) 

Secondly, The language of our Lord on one occasion seems 
clearly to show, that baptism is, in an ordinary way, (as was the 
case with circumcision,) necessaiy to salvation, for he says, " Ex- 
cept a man be born of water and of the Spirit^ he cannot enter 
into the kingdom of God." (John iii. 5.) I will not say, with 
some of the Romanists, (who, when the subject of Tradition is 
out of sight, can clearly enough see the reference of this and 
other texts to infants as well as others,^) that this text shows, 
that baptism is absolutely a sine qua non to the salvation of 
infants, because, as Archbishop Laud intimates, we are not to 

instance, the possible case of an infant losing its nnbelieving parents, and 
coming thereby under the guardianship of Christian relations or friends ; but 
such are extraordinary cases, upon which no argument can be built. 

^ Bellanuine himself, after giving three arguments for paedobaptism from 
Scripture, adds, "satis aperte coUigatur ex Scrijpturis." Bellabm. De bapt. 
c. 9. 


" bind God to the use and means of that sacrament to which 
he hath bound us ;" ^ yet surely it follows from it, that it 
would be unjustifiable to exclude all infants from that rite 
without which ordinarily men " cannot enter into the kingdom 
of God." 

Nor can it be said, that their tender age must at any rate 
prevent their suffering from the neglect of this rite, for the 
case of circumcision shows the contrary. " The uncircumcised 
" man-child .... shall be cut off from his people ; lie hath 
" broken my covenant.'* (Gen. xvii. 14.) If, then, it be the 
case, that baptism has been made ordinarily necessary for an 
entrance into the kingdom of God, then age, however tender, 
does not remove that necessity. 

Thirdly, Has not Christ himself testified his willingness to 
receive such anung the number of his people ? for we read, 
that he was " much displeased" with his disciples for rebuking 
those that brought infants to him for his blessing, and said to 
them, " Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid 
" them not, for of such is the kingdom of God .... and he 
" took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and 
" blessed them." (Mark x. 1 1, 16. See also Matt. xix. 14; 
Luke xviii. 16.) With this example, then, before us, we 
ask with confidence, Would the Church be justifiable in refus- 
ing to receive into her communion as subjects for Christ's 
mercy, by the rite appointed for that purpose, infants brought 
to her under the circumstances supposed, or rather is she not 
bound to require of her members that their infants should be 
thus brought to her to be received by her into her communion, 
as those whom Christ's example, when he was upon earth, 
shows that he is ready to accept and bless ? 

Fourthly, If infants are susceptible of the enjoyment of any 
Christian privileges, as of the remission of sins, spiritual grace, 
&c., and baptism is appointed by our Lord to be observed as 
a rite introductory to admission into the Christian Church, 
and the enjoyment of such privileges, then the Church is not 
* Laud's Conference with Fislier, p. 36. 

p 2 


only justified in admitting infant baptism, but also has good 
reason for enjoining the practice u|>on her members. 

Now, for the proof of the first of these points, I refer to the 
following passages : Jer. i. 5 ; Ezck. xvi. 20, 21 ; Luke i. 15 ; 
and also to the admission of Jewish infants, by the rite of 
circumcision, to the privileges of the Old Testament Covenant, 
which clearly shows, that the tender age of infants does not 
render them insusceptible of the enjoyment of such privileges. 
For the proof of the second of these points, viz., that baptism 
is a rite appointed to be obst:rved as introductorj' to admisMon 
into the Christian Church, and the enjoyment of Christian 
privileges, I refer to the following passages : Acts ii. 41 ; 
Kom. vi. 3, 4 ; 1 Cor. xii. 13; Col. ii. 12; and especially to 
the text already quoted, that " except a man be born of water 
and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.'* 
(John iii. 5.) 

These two points, then, being clearly decided by Scripture 
in the affirmative, the consequence which follows from them is 
equally clearly established.^ 

Such, then, arc the clear, and, as it appears to many, de- 
cisive arguments which Scripture affords us in favour of infant 
baptism. And I will only add, that Hooker considered this 
doctrine to be a necessary deduction from Scripture,* and 
that Bishop Taylor, in his last work, expressly rebukes his 
Romish antagonist for taking the ground which our opponents 
here maintain on this question.^ 

And when this doctrine is denied, we, in order to confirm 
the correctness of our deductions from Scripture, refer to the 
practice of the Primitive Church, as showing how they under- 
stood the matter. We do not make our appeal here to any 

* "We might, I think, add to these an ai^ument derived {tarn the rite of 
circumcision being administered to infants ; but as our opponents deny ahnost 
any correspondence between the rites of circmncision and baptism, I content 
myself wHth noticing it here. 

' Hookeb's Eccl. Pol. bk. i. c. 14. 

' Jeb. Tatloe's Diss, from Popery, Pt. ii. bk. i. § 3. Works, vol. x. pp. 430 
et seq., where the bishop has also \'indicated the Protestant grounds of faith 
in various other points. 


doctrinal statements of the Fathers, as condusive evidence of 
what doctrinal statements were delivered orally by the Apostles 
on the subject. But we refer to their statements of what 
passed under their own eyes, the daily practice of the Church, 
and hence obtain an argument for the correctnessof our inter- 
pretation of Scripture on this point. 

And in all matters that concern the practice of the Church, 
we obtain from the statements of the early Fathers conclusive 
evidence as to the observance or non-observance of this or 
that rite or usage at that time, and therefore evidence suflfi- 
cient in such a case to justify us when following them. And 
even a Justijication of the usage is sufficient in infant baptism; 
for, be it observed, that, as Bishop Stillingfleet says, — " The 
" main question between us and the Antipa?dobaptists, is not 
" concerning an absolute and express command for baptizing 
" infants, but whether our blessed Saviour hath not, by a 
*' positive precept, so determined the subject of baptism, viz., 
" adult i^ersons ])rofessing the faith, that the alteration of the 
** subject, viz., in baptizing infants, be not a deviation from, and 
" perversion of the institution of Christ, in a substantial part of 
" it ; or, in short, thus. Whether our Saviour hath so deter- 
" mined the subject of baptism, as to exclude infants. And 
" although the question being thus stated, the proof ought to 
" lie on those who affirm it, yet, taking in only the help op 
" Scripture and reason, it were no difficult matter to 
" prove directly and evidently, that infants are so far from 
'* being excluded baptism by the institution of Christ, that 
" there are as many grounds as are necessary to a matter of that 
'* nature, to prove that the baptizing them is suitable to the iiisti- 
" tution of Christ, and agreeable to the state of the Church, under 
*' the Gospel. For, if there were any ground to exclude them, 
" it must be either the incapacity of the subject, or some 
" express precept and institution of our Saviour. But neither 
" of these can be supposed to do it." This he proceeds to 
show at some length, and then adding some evidences to 
" show how suitable the baptism of infants is to the admini- 


stration of things under the gospel," he mentions, as one ot 
them, " Had it been contrary to Christ's institution, we should 
" not have had such evidences of its early practice in the 
" Church, as we have. Aud here I acknowledge the use of 
" Apostolical Tradition to manifest this to us ... . We grant 
" that the practice of the Church, from Apostolical timet, is a 
" great confirmation that it was never Christ's intention to 
" have infants excluded from baptism." ^ Where wc may see, 
that the view we have taken above of the use of Patristical 
Tradition in this matter, is precisely that of Bishop Stilling- 

(2) The second case is the observance of the hordes Day. 

In this there are three distinct points for considerat'on. 
First, that which relates to our assembling on the Lord's Day 
for public worship ; Secondly, that which relates to the ne- 
cessity of such an appropriation of the day by all Churches, 
as a divine institution ; Thirdly, that which relates to absti- 
nence from our usual worldly occupations on that day. 

In all these, Scripture will be found a sufficient guide. In 
the second, indeed, it alone can be an authoritative guide ; 
and in the third, it will be found practically our only definite 

First, then, the custom of assembling on the first day of the 
week for public worship, is clearly mentioned in Scripture as 
one followed by the Apostles and primitive Christians. Thus, 
on its first occuiTence after our Lord's resurrection, we find the 
disciples assembled together" with the doors shut, for fear of 
the Jews, (John xx. 19,) at which time our Lord first appeared 
to them, and gave the Apostles their commission (w. 19 — 23); 
and "after eight days again his disciples uere within," and 

1 Stiixingfleet'8 Rational Account, &c. Part 1. c. 4. pp. 106 — 8. 

' Ot!(r7]s oiy oyf/las r^ ^M^P? iKflyrj r^ fui ruv aa^pdrccv, k. t. A. (John XX. 
19.) Of the meaning of the phrase, rij fjna tSiv tya^^aTtav^ there can be no 
doubt, as it is used by all the four Evangelists to represent the day on which 
our Saviour rose from the dead ; sometimes with, and sometimes without, the 
article ; as, for instance, fiiav aa^fidrwv. Matt, xxviii. 1. ttjs fxias (ra^^aronv, Mark 
xvi. 2. rp (n^ Tcoy (ra^^ruv, Luke xxiv. 1. tj fjnq ruv aafi&aTwv, John xx. 1. 


Jesus again vouchsafed his presence to them (v. 26) ; ^ that is, 
in other words, the next time of their assembling together, 
was on the recurrence of the first day of the week. 

Of this custom mention is again clearly made in the Book 
of the Acts, where the sacred historian writes, we " came unto 
" them to Troas . . . where we abode seven days. And upon 
" the first da 1/ of ike week, when the disciples came together 
" to break bread, [literally, the disciples being met together 
" to break bread,] Paul preached unto them, ready to depart 
" on the morrow."^ 

Here, then, we find that St. Paul stayed with these Chriii- 
tians seven days ; and that during these seven days there was 
one, " the first day of the week," on which " the disciples being 
met together to break bread," Paul preached unto them. 
We hear nothing of any assembly on any other day ; and ou 
this the assembly was not, it appears, called together by St. 
Paul ; but being met ou that day, he took the opportunity of 
addressing them, and the object for which they were assembled 
was " to break bread ;" that is, confessedly, to celebrate the 
eucharist, the reception of which was one great object for 
which the early Christians " came together in the Church ; " 
(See 1 Cor. xi. 17 — 20) whence the Apostle calls it "coming 
together to eat." (1 Cor. xi. 33.) 

Again, the day is mentioned in Scripture as one on which 
the alms of the Christians were to be laid by for their poorer 
brethren. " Concerning the collection for the saints," says 
St. Paul, " as I have given order to the Churches of Galatia, 
" even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every 
" one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him ; 
" that there be no gatherings when I come.""^ 

* Mfff ri/xfpas oKru, " after eight daift ;" i. e. (according to the Jewish mode 
of reckouiiig, including the day fi-om which the rediouiitg wiu mad*,) the wuue 
day in the following week. 

' HASo/utK irpits avrovs us r^y TpoiaSa, . . . ou SitTplx^afxtf ri^iipas ftrra. 'Er 
S( T|^ fiiq, Tui/ aaPfitirtey, avyrjyfifi'wi' rwy naBrfriiv rov kAactw iprov, 6 llavKoi 
SifXfyfTo ainols, ntWwv f^ifyai rp ivavptoy. Acts xx. 6, 7. 

KaT^ fiiay aafi^drwy (Ka(TTos vfxu/y rap' iavrtp ti0(tw, Ortfravpi^aty S, ti tuf 
tiioSiiTai, Xya /uJ) Sray (ASw, rirt Xtyyiai ylyfuyrai. 1 Cor. xvi. 2. Perhaps i 


( iniisTiAN ki;li(;i()\ 

This shows, that the day which the former passages j>rove 
to have been used as a day for their assembling together for 
public worship, was also appointed for the act of charity here 
mentioned ; a further proof of its appropriation to religioua 
purposes generally. 

Lastly, we find in the Book of Revelation a day distinguished 
by the title " the Lord's Day ;"' which shows that at the time 
when the Apocalypse was written, " the Lord's Day " was a 
day generally known among Christians ; and the name itself 
shows, on whose account it was observed, and to whom it was 
considered sacred. Now this name is invariably applied by the 
earliest Christian writers to signify the first day of the week, 
from its being consecrated to the Lord's service as the day on 
which he rose from the dead. Thus, for instance, Ignatius is, 
I believe, universally interpreted as speaking of the Lord's 
Day in his Epistle to the Magnesians.* Melito, Bishop of 
Sardis, composed a book entitled, " Concerning the Lord's 
Day."^ Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, in his Epistle to the 
Romans, says, "This day, being the Lord's Day, we have 
kept holy."* It is also very evidently spoken of, under this 
title, by Clement of Alexandria.* And by TertuUian ex- 

bctter translation of these words than that in our authorized version would 
be, " Let every man lay by him for (or agaitut) the first day of the week," 
&c. ; that is, for the collection which was then made at the time of their being 
assembled together for public worship, as we learn from the earliest Christian 
writers, as we shall see presently. For otherwise, if each man's store was laid 
hif ?iim, there must have been a collection when the Apoetle came, as much as 
if this had not been done. 

* '^yev6ixt\v iv Tlviiixari iv Tjj Kvpiaicf vfifpa. Rev. L 10. We may add here, 
that the Codex Wechel. reads the passage in 1 Cor. xvi. 2. just referred to. 
Koto filav aaPfidrtuv rrjy KvpioK^iy. 

' MriKeri aa^PaTi^oyres, &AAa Kara KvpiaKijy C'^^iv C^m-fs, iv ^ koL ri ^tfii 
rjfxwv ayfTfi\fv Si airrov. lONAT. Ep. ad Magnes. § 9. Int. Patb. Apost. ed. 
Jacobson. tom. 2. p. 314. 

' nepl KvptoucTJs. EUSEB. Hist. Eccl. lib. iv. c. 26. ed. Reading, p. 188. 
\Miere Eusebius also mentions his having written a work nepl rod iria-xa, 
which shows that the former work did not apply to that subject. 

■* T^y a-fifj.epov KvpioK^y ayiav fjfxfpcw Strrydyofify. EtrSEB. Hist. Eccl. lib. iv. 
c. 23. ed. Reading, p. 187. 

* The Gnostic, he says, Kvpuucijv eKeiyriy rrjy Tifiepay liroieT, or' h.y airoffoAXTi 
<Pav\oy v6rifj.a Koi yyoxTTiKhy irpo<T\cifiTi, rrjy iv airr^ rov Kvpiov iycurrcuTiy 5o|o- 


pressly ; " On the Lord's Day/' he says, " we consider it a 
sin to fast, or to pray kneeling."^ The name is also to be 
found in Cyprian and Origen ; but it is unnecessary to trace 
it further. 

From these passages of Scripture, then, it is very clear, that 
on the first day of the week the Apostles and primitive 
Christians were in the habit of assembling together for reli- 
gious purposes, and of considering the day more or less sacred 
to Christ, calling it the Lord's Day. 

And with respect to this matter of fact, if the testimony in 
Scrij)ture had been less, the records of the Primitive Church 
would have been suflficient to show us its practice in this respect, 
(though not to trace it quite so far back,) and thus to recom- 
mend the practice to us. 

The testimonies we have already adduced, when speaking 
of the name by which this day was known, show its observance 
by the Church at that period. I will, therefore, here only add 
one more from J ustin Martyr : — " Upon the day called Sunday, 
*• all, both of those that live in cities, and those that live in 
" the country, meet together in one place ; and the Gospels 
" of the Apostles,- or the writings of the Prophets, are read as 
" time will permit. Then when the reader has ceased, the 
" president^ addresses them, by way of admonition and exhor- 
" tation to the imitation of the excellent things they have 
" heard. Then we all rise up together and pray; and, as I 

Ci»y. Clem. Alex. Strom, lib. vii. § 12. Op. ed. Potter, p. 877. (Sylb. 744.) 
We may note also the following passage in the " Excerpta Tlieodoti " usually 
printed with the works of Clement, — 'H /itv oZv trvtv^riKuv ayiiravaii, iv 
KvpiuKfj fv oySodSt, r] KvpiuKi] oyofm^trai. § 63. p. 984. ed. Potter. (Svlb. 
p. 798. D.) The passage is evidently somewhat corrupt, but sufficiently clear for 
oiu* present purpose. 

' Die Dominico jejuuium nefas ducimus, vel de geniculis adorare. Tehtcll. 
De cor. mil. c. 3. Op. ed. 1664. p. 102. The name is also to be found in the 
"Quaistiones et Respons. ad orthod." (q. 115.) attributed to Justin Martyr; in 
wliich it is stated, that the custom of staniling at prayer on Sunday, is said by 
Irenseus, in his work, Tltpl rov riacrxa, to have been a custom of the Church 
from the times of the Apostles. 

^ Ta airo^t^fiovfiifxaTa rwv 'Airo<rr6\ti>yy which he elsewhere explains by the 
words 6, /coA€»Tai fvayytKia, 

^ 'O TTpoffr-rus. 


" have already said, when wc have finished praying, bread is 
" brought, and wine and water; and the president offers, to 
*' the best of his ability,^ prayers and thanksgivings ; and the 
" people add their voice in consent, saying. Amen ; and there 
" is a distribution and communication of the Eucharist to each 
*' one, and it is sent to those who are not present, through 
" the deacons. But the wealthy, who please, give according 
" to their pleasure, each one what he pleases, of that which 
*' belongs to him ; and the collection is deposited with the 
*' president, and he assists the orphans and widows, and those 
" who, from sickness, or any other cause, are in want, and 
" those who are in prison, and foreigners dwelling among its ; 
" and, in a word, bestows his care upon all that arc in need. 
" But we all meet together on Sunday, because it is the first 
*' day ; that in which God, having produced a change in dark- 
" ness and matter, made the world : and because Jesus Christ 
" our Saviour rose from the dead on that day."- 

Other testimonies might easily be added ; and if any one is 
inclined to dispute, whether this was the practice of the Church 
at that time, we refer to these testimonies, without any injury 
to our argument, as conclusive evidence that it was, and hence 
draw an important argument for its observance by all Churches 
to the end of time. 

But this is a point on which we must take higher ground, 
and therefore proceed to — 

The second question relating to this subject, namely, that 
which respects the necessity of such an appropriation of the 
day by all Churches as a divine institution. 

That it is necessary, we are agreed; and the proof, as it 
appears to me, rests upon two grounds, first, the practice of 

' "OcTTj hvvafus avTCf. These words have been sometimes considered a proot 
that the prayers and thanksgivings were extempore ; but in the former part of 
the Apology (§ 13. p. 51) the same words are used with reference to Christians 
generally, (8(nj Swants alvovm-fs,) and therefore may perhaps refer to the 
conduct and dispositions of the worshipper, rather than the words uttered. See 
further remarks in L'Estrange's Alliance of Divine Offices, pp. 207, 8. ed. 1690. 
JrsTiN. Mabt. Apol. 1. § 67. Op. ed. Bened. pp. 83, 4. See also the Epis- 
tle ascribed to Barnabas, § 15, and the well-known letter of Pliny to Trajan. 


the Apostolical Chnrch, and, secondly, the sanctification of one 
day in each seven by God himself, which day the practice of 
the Apostolical Church appears to show was transferred under 
the Christian dispensation from the seventh to the first, in 
honour of our Saviour's resurrection. Both these, then, may 
be derived from Scripture ; nor could the necessity of the 
practice be established, as it appears to me, but upon Scripture 

First, the practice of the Apostolical Church. This, as we 
have seen, is manifested by Scripture. And the practice of 
the Primitive Church shows, that they regarded it as of per- 
petual observance. And I suppose it hardly needs to be 
argued, that, in such a matter, the fact that a day was set apail 
for public worship by the Church uhen it included the Apoitles, 
is quite sufficient of itself to render it incumbent upon all 
Churches to follow their example. 

And we thus place it upon the ground of Apostolical and 
primitive practice, (in the absence of an express Apostolical 
command,) in contradistinction to the foundation upon which 
our opponents would place it, namely, certain Patristical 
statements of what our Lord or his Apostles orally delivered, 
inwhich we cannot place the same reliance as in those which con- 
cern the/>r<7c/ice of the Church, to which they were eye-witnesses. 
I may observe, also, that I have yet been unable to tind one testi- 
mony during the whole of the first three centuries, in which it 
is stated, that any such command was delivered by our Lord 
or his Apostles ; nor, as it appears to me, do we need any. I 
am quite ready to admit, however, that as the testimonies of 
several Fathers in favour of a doctrine is to a certain extent an 
argument in favour of it, so may we derive a confirmation of 
our views respecting the Lord's day, from the statements of 
several of the Fathers in the fourth and fifth centuries, as 
Eusebius, Athanasius, Ambrose, &c., that this day was specially 
commanded to be observed by our Lord and bis Apostles. I 
will only observe, that a more stringent proof with me would 
be that passage in Clement of Rome, a contemporary of the 
Apostles, where he says, that " we ought to do all things in 


" order whatsoever the Lord commanded us to perform, at the 
" times apjmnted, and to be careful that our offerings and public 
** services are performed ; and he has commanded these to be 
** done, not at chance times ami without order, but at certain fixed 
" times and seasons," &c.^ \Miich passage, coming from a con- 
temporary of the Apostles, when coupled with the practice of 
the Apostolical Church, has great weight. 

But the necessity of the practice is usually placed upon still 
stronger grounds, viz. the sanctification of one day in each seven 
by God himself, from the beginning, which day, the practice 
of the Apostolical Church appears to show, was transferred 
under the Christian dispensation from the seventh to the first, 
in honour of our Saviour's resurrection. 

It will not, I suppose, be denied, that the sanctification of 
the seventh day by God himself from the beginning must be 
proved by Scripture authority, or not at all, however it may be 
confirmed from other sources; and if such sanctification be 
proved, then it seems to follow, that when the Apostles, who 
were guided in such matters by the Spirit of God, abrogated 
the seventh day Sabbath, and devoted the first day of the 
week to the purposes of religion, as we have shown from 
Scripture they did, they substituted that first day for the 
seventh as a day to be sanctified by us. 

And without attempting here fully to discuss this point, 
which would occupy us too long, I shall only refer our oppo- 
nents to what "the judicious" Hooker says on the subject, 
which may show them that I have here placed this matter 
precisely upon the foundation on which he has rested it. 
" The moral law," he says, " requiring a seventh part through- 
" out the age of the whole world to be that way employed, 
** although with us the day be changed in regard of a new 
'' revelation begun by our Saviour Christ, yet the same pro- 
" portion of time continueth, which was before, because in 

^ Ilaj'Ta Ta|€« ■Koielv 6(pei\ofiff', Sera 6 Af(rtr6Tr]s (irirtKeiy fKfKewTfv Kara koi- 
poiis rerayfifyovs' rds re irpo<r<popas koj. \fiTovpyias fTrtTe\(7(r6ai, koI ovk tiit^ 
ij ariKTOis (K€\ev(T(y yivtaOai, oAA' wpia-fifvois Kaipols (cal wpais. Clem. Rom. 
Ejk ad Corinth, i. § 40. Inter Patb, Apost. ed. Jacobson. vol. i. pp. 136, 138. 


" reference to the benefit of creation, and now much more of 
" renovation, thereunto added by him, which was Prince of 
" the world to come, we are bound to account the sanctifica- 
" tion of one day in seven a duty which God's immutable law 
" doth exact for ever." ^ 

And then, proceeding to notice other days which ecclesias- 
tical precept and usage had appropriated as festival or sacred 
days, he justly animadverts upon the folly of those who 
thought, that the Church had no right to recommend the obser- 
vance of such days, while at the same time he manifestly con- 
siders all those days to stand upon a very different footing 
from that which had express Apostolical and divine sanction 
for its observance." 

But if we consult the Fathers on this point, we shall find 
them altogether at variance as to the observance of one day in 
seven as a holy day from the beginning, and three of the earliest 
and best authorities among them, namely, Justin Martyr,* 
Irenseus,^ and TertuUian,^ distinctly maintaining, that the 
Patriarchs before Moses did not observe any such day, which 
would completely cut away the ground from under us in this 
argument for the necessity of observing the Lord's day, because 
by such statements they make the observance of one day in 
seven as a holy day merely a Jewish ordinance. 

The third point involved in this matter is that which relates 
to abstinence from our usual worldly occupations on this day. 

The proof of this is, I need hardly say, to be found in what 
we have just been endeavouring to show, namely, that the ob- 
servance of the first day of the week under the Christian dis- 
pensation, corresponds with the observance of the seventh 
under the Old Testament dispensation, the two days being 
alike dedicated to the service of God, and differing in the pre- 
cise mode of observance only according as the dispensations 
differ from each other. 

Hookeb's Eccl. Pol. bk. V. c. 70. 

* See the whole of his c. 71. 

» JrsT. Maht. Dial, cum Tryph. § 19. Op. ed. Ben. p. 119. 
Ieen. Adv. hser. lib. iv. c. 16. ed. Mass. (c. 30. ed. Grab.) 

* Tbbtull. Adv. Jud, cc. 2 and 4, 


But, that a unanimous cujisent of Fathers can be shown for 
this, is a point which I must leave for our opponents to prove. 
I should have no wish to disturb it, if it could be proved, nor 
have I any inclination to enter here upon any attempt to dis- 
prove it, but the passages I have referred to in the note below 
may be worth considering before any such assertions are ven- 
tured respecting it.' 

(3) The third examj)le is, — fhe perpetual uhliyatiun of the 

Our opponents seem to care but little how they weaken the 
Scriptural foundation for the doctrines and ritea of the Chris- 
tian religion, if only they can force us to a dependance upon 
their beloved " Tradition," or surely they would never have 
resorted to such a statement as this. Not to notice our Lord's 

' For the first three centuries we have unfortunately nothing definite on the 
point ; but afU'r tliat period there occur pHnget which, if we pretend to rest the 
point in question upon the unanimous consent of the Fathers, will need souie 
skill in interpreting to reconcile them with others. Thtw, Coiwtantine himself 
directs, — " Omnes judices, urbananjue plebes, et cimct<jrum artium officia vene- 
rabili die solis quiescant. Ron tamen poeiti agrorum culturte libere licen- 
terque inserviant : quoniam frequenter evenit, ut non aptius alio die fromenta 
sulcis, aut vinese scrobibus mandentur, ne occasione momenti {lereat oommodi- 
tas ccelesti provisione concessa." — Cod. Justin, lib. iii. tit. 12. De feriis. 1. 3. 
ed. Lips. 1705, vol. ii. coL 194. The direction of the I^aodicean Council, riir 
KupioK^y irpoTi/xwyTas, ftyt ivvouyro, <TxoK6.^tiv, (Cone. Laod. can. 29. in Bibl. 
Justell. p. 52.) may perhaps be reconciled by supposing the words eiyt ivvaivro 
to refer to slaves and persons under the power of another, but this, be it ob- 
served, is not the explanation given by BaLsamon and Zonaras. The third 
Council of Orleans decrees, " Quia persuasum est popnlis die -dominico agi 
cum cahallis aut bobus et vehiculu itinera non debere, neque allam rem ad 
victum pntparare, vel ad nitorem domus vel homuiis pertinentem ullatenus 
exercere, (quae res ad Judaicam magis quam ad Christianam observantiam per- 
tinere probatur,) id statuimiis, ut die dominico, quod ante fieri licuit, liceat . 
De opere tamen rurali, id est, arato, vel vinea, vel sectione, messione, excus- 
sione, exarto [exerto] vel sepe censuimus abstinendum, quo £acilius ad eccle- 
siam convenientes orationis gratiae [gratia] vacent." (Concil. Aurel. iii. Can. 28. 
Concil. ed. 1671. vol. v. col. 302.) ^Miat can we say, moreover, to the passage 
of Jerome, where, speaking in praise of Paula and her companions, he says, — 
— "Die dominico ad ecclesiam procedebant ex cujus habitabant latere. Et 
unumquodque agmen matrem propriam sequebatur, atque inde p)ariter rever- 
tentes, instabant operi distributo, et vel sibi, vel caeteris indumenta faciebant." 
(HiEEOX. Ep. ad Eustoch. Epitaph. Paulse matris. Ep. 108. § 19. ed. Vallare. 
Venet. 1766. vol. i. col. 712.) 


command, " Bo this in remembrance of me," where the notice 
of the object for which the rite is to be observed, is sufficient 
at once to stamp it as one of perpetual obligation, what I 
would ask is the meaning of St. Paul's words, that in this rite 
we "show the Lord's death till fie cuine i*" (1 Cor. xi. 26.) 

It would be a waste of words, however, to enlarge on such 
a point. 

And were we to go to the records of the Primitive Church 
to confirm our view of the matter, the appeal, be it observed, 
would be, not to the Fathers as witnesses of what the Apostles 
said, nor to what " the ages immediately succeeding the Apos- 
tles thought," respecting it, but merely to the practice of the 

(4) We are next sent to Tradition to assure \xi, fourthly, of the 
identity of our mode of consecration in the eucharist with the 

This Mr. Keble considers to be essential to our receiv- 
ing any benefit from it. But surely the accounts of this 
matter given us by the Evangelists and by St. Paul in 
his first Epistle to the Corinthians (xi. 23, et seq.) are 
sufficient on this head ! If not, I know not how Mr. 
Keble can prove more to be Apostolical, unless he rests 
upon Liturgies known to be either spurious, or more or less 
interpolated, or of too late a date to prove anything, which 
he must excuse us from receiving as any certain evidence of 
the precise mode in which the Apostles acted. But alas ! he 
seems to think that such evidence is conclusive. For thus he 
writes ; — " Not to dwell on disputable cases .... where, except 
" in the primitive Liturgies, a main branch of that Tradition, 
" can we find assurance, that in the Holy Eucharist we con- 
" secrate as the Apostles did, and consequently that the cup of 
" blessing which we bless is the communion of the blood of 
" Christ, and the bread which we break the communion of the 
'• body of Christ V* (p. 38.) Mr. Keble forgot, that he had 
first to show, that such identity in the form used was necessary 
to assure us of an acceptable celebration of the Eucharist. He 
implies, that, unless we use the same form of words with the 
Apostles, we cannot be sure, that our celebration of the 


Kucharist is acce|)table to God. I bcf^ to ask, Why not ? He 
might as well assort, that we could not be sure that our 
prayers were acceptable to God, unless we prayed precisely in 
the same words that the Apostles did. One might suppose he 
was speaking of some magical incantation. Why any precise 
form of words should be necessary, it is difficult to conceive, 
nor, as far as I am aware, can even Patristical Tradition be 
pleaded in favour of such necessity. 

Nay, more; Mr. Keble has here involved himself in a diffi- 
culty which he will find insuperable. For, even if Patristical 
Tradition was to be trusted in the matter, it does not inform 
us, what precise " mode of consecration " was used by the 
Apostles. And to this day it is a matter of dispute between us 
and the Romanists, whether the act of consecration is performed 
by the recital of the words of institution, or by prayer and 
thanksgiving over the elements, and both sides have their proofs 
from the Fathers. 

In fact, when we come to examine the statements of the 
Fathers, in order to ascertain what is the precise testimony of 
Patristical Tradition as to the act of consecration, we find a 
considerable difference in their language on the subject ; some 
of them speaking of the consecration as performed by prayer 
and thanksgiving, some of its being performed by prayer 
alone, and others by the benediction or thanksgiving alone ; 
and at other times the consecration seems to be attributed (as 
I have just observed) to the recital of the words of institution. 

And if we determine, that the Apostles consecrated the ele- 
ments by prayer, then the question arises, " What sort of prayer 
was it?" Where, then, are we to get the answer ? Will Mr. 
Keble send us to the elaborate prayers in the Apostolical Con- 
stitutions, or the antient Liturgies ? If so, to obviate any long 
discussion about their claims upon us, I will refer him to 
Gregory the Great, who will tell him, that the Apostles used 
only the Lord's Prayer to consecrate the elements.^ 

Mr. Keble will find, that the Fathers themselves take very 

' Orationem Dominicam idcirco mox post precem dicimns, quia mos Aposto- 
lorum fuit, ut ad ipsam solummodo orationem oblationis hostiam consecrarent. 
Gbbgoe. Magn. Epist. lib. ix. indict. 2. epist. 12. Op. ed. Bened. torn. iL coL 940. 


different ground in this matter from what he has maintained. 
It is to the Scriptural statements on the subject, and not to 
any tradition as to how the Apostles celebrated it, that they 
always refer when treating on the subject. 

And 80 our own L'Estrange clearly refers to Scripture as 
showing the right mode of consecration. " I must adhere," 
he says, " in judgment to those learned men who derive conse- 
" cration from the word of God and prayer, the very way by which 
" our Saviour Christ himself sanctijied those elements in hisjirst 
" institution, (Matt. xxvi. 26,) eiXoyr/o-as, calling upon God 
" for his blessing, and €v\apL(m'i(Tai giving thanks." ^ 

(5) Tradition is said further to teach us. 

Fifthly, that " consecration by apostolical authority is 
essential to the participation of the eucharist ;" that is, the 
elements must be blessed by one ordained by successiou from 
the Apostles. 

For this Mr. Kcble quotes the following passage from 
Ignatius; — "Let that eucharist be accounted valid which is 
" under the bishop or some one commissioned by him ; " ' 
and adds, as follows, — " Wherein he lays down the rule which 
" we know was universally received in the Primitive Church 
" [? how do we know this^ that consecration by Apostolical 
" authority is essential to the participation of the eucharist, 
" and so far generally necessary to salvation. Now, supposing 
" this could not be at all proved from Scripture, {as it may, in 
" a great measure, to the satisfaction of unprejudiced minds,) still 
" it might be accepted on the above evidence as a necessary rule 
" of Church communion without infringing on our sixth 
" Article."^ He considers, therefore, that no one receives the 
eucharist, who does not receive it so consecrated. This is given 
as an instance that a rule may be both Divine and generally 
necessary to salvation, and yet not be contained in Scripture ; 

» L'Esteanqe's Alliance of Divine Offices. 2d ed. 1690. p. 205. 

' Ignat. Ad Sniyru. c, 8. 

* Kkblk's Senu. p. 78. Combining tliis doctrine with what is maintained 
in Tract 85, p. 51, that the sixth chapter of St. John's Gospel refers to the 
Ijord's Supper, the members of unepiscopal churches are loft altogether without 



and Mr. Kcble holds, tliat this view is not opposed to the 
sixth Article. For, the doctrine that such consecration is 
necessary, he holds that it would be wrong to put into the 
Creed, because the kauwlcdije of tliis doctrine, he thinks, is 
not necessary to a right and faithful participation of the 
cucharist, though clearly, according to his view of the matter, a 
man is entirely deprived of the benefits of the cucharist uidess 
he acts as if he had that knowledge, and by this distinction he 
hopes to escape condemnation by the sixth Article. Now, 
supposing that a participation of the cucharist is generally 
necessary to salvation, I ask, whether, if we teach upon the 
authority of "Tradition," that that cucharist only is valid 
which is consecrated by one cpiscopally ordained, and conse- 
quently that we must partake of the cucharist so consecrated, 
we do not teach something as " requisite or necessary to salva- 
tion," which " is not read in Holy Scripture, nor may be 
proved thereby ?" and thereby oflFend against the sixth Article ? 
for the Article not only speaks of what is " to be believed as 
an article of the faith," but also that " whatsoever" is not so 
proved is not to be " thought requisite or necessary to salvation." 
If, then, Mr. Keble wishes not to fall vmder the condemnation 
of the sixth Article, he will, I think, find it necessary to fall 
back upon his Scriptui'e proof; and where that proof is to be 
found, it is difficult to conjecture. 

But, dismissing the question of the consistency of this state- 
ment with the Article, let us proceed to the consideration of 
the doctrine here maintained. It is asserted, that, in the 
absence of all proof from Scripture, a single passage of Ignatius 
is sufficient to show, that it is a necessary rule of Church com- 
munion, that is, of communion with the Universal Church, 
and hence, of course, the Foreign Reformed Churches are 
excluded from the pale of that communion. 

Now, as to the propriety and validity of such consecration, 
be it remembered, there is no question moved by any one, nor 
do we doubt its being, under ordinary circumstances, the 
orderly consecration. The practice of the Primitive Church 
may be taken as a sufficient testimony of that. Indeed, the 


separation of certain persons as spiritual teachers and leaders 
of the worship of the people would at once point them out to 
us as, under all ordinary circumstances, the dispensers of the 
sacraments. Be it observed, then, that, as a point of eccle- 
siastical order, we maintain firmly, that, undef all ordinary 
circumstances, the clergy are the only proper dispensers of the 
sacraments. But as to the essential necessity of such conse- 
cration, in all cases and under all circumstances, that is the 
question. If it can be proved from Scripture, as Mr. Keble 
says, well and good. But against such a doctrine being laid 
down on the authority of the passage in Ignatius, or half a 
dozen such passages, we must protest. For, in the first place, 
Ignatius had a particular case in his eye, and was addressing 
a Church where purity of doctrine and worship existed, and 
where, therefore, there was no reason why the performance of 
the offices of the Church should be taken out of the hands of 
those who had been separated for that service; and conse- 
quently it follows not from these words, that if Ignatius had 
been addressing the Christians of the West in the fifteenth or 
sixteenth century, he would have used the same language, or 
said to them as he did to the Magnesians, Do nothing without 
your bishops. And secondly, we protest against such a doc- 
trine being laid down on the authority of a few passages of 
the anticnt Fathers, even if they did speak of it either as an 
Apostolical doctrine, or as one universally received in the Pri- 
mitive Church. Nay, further, we must take still higher 
ground, and call in question the alleged fact of its universal 
reception in the Primitive Church, even upon the showing of 
the records that remain to us. 

The truth is, that this doctrine is derived from the supposi- 
tion, that the Eucharist is a true and proper sacrifice to God, 
and that the clergy are true and proper priests, alone authorized 
by God, through ordination by succession from the Apostles, 
to offer it, — a supposition which I need not say is utterly 
unsupported by Scripture, for its defenders scarcely venture to 
claim such support for it, but — what is more — one which the 
records of the Apostolically-primitive Church also repudiate. 

Q 2 


On these points we shall have occasion to speak more at large 
presently ; but as it respects the point in hand, it is impossible 
for any ingenuity to get over the passage of Tertullian which 
Dodwell has vainly attempted to explain away.* The passage 
is as clear as .words can make it. Speaking against second 
marriages, he says, " We shall be fooUsh if we suppose, that 
" what is not lawful to priests is lawful to laymen. Are not 
" those of us who are laics priests ? It is written, ' He hath 
" made us kings and priests to God and his Father.* The 
" authority of the Church has appointed the difference between 
" the Order and the Peoj)lc, and the dignity is sacred, where 
" there is an assembly of the Order ; so, where there is no ag- 
" semhly of the ecclesiastical Order, you both offer [i. e. in the 
" Eucharist] and baptize, and are alone a jrriest to yourself. 
" Moreover, where there arc three, there is a Church, alllMugh 
" they be laymen. For each one lives by his own faith, nor is 
" there respect of persons with God, since not the hearers of the 
" law, but the doers, are justified by God, as the Apostle says. 
" Therefore, if you have in yourself the rights of a priest where 
" necessity requires it, it is right that you should also conform 
*' to the discipline befi.tting a priest, where it may be necessary 
" to have the rights of a priest. Do you baptize after a second 
" marriage ? Do you offer after a second marriage ? How 
" much worse is it for a layman twice married to act as a 
" priest, when the power of acting as a priest is taken away 
" from a priest himself upon contracting a second marriage ? 
" But you say it is conceded to the necessity of the case. No 
" necessity is admitted but that which cannot be otherwise. 
" Take care not to be found a digamist, and you do not fall 
" into the necessity of administering that which it is not lawful 
" for a digamist to administer. God would have all of us so 
" circumstanced as to be everywhere ready to pet form his 
" sacraments." ^ 

* See Dodwell's " De jure laicomm sacerdotali." 

2 " Vani erimus, si putaverimus, quod sacerdotibus non liceat laicis licere. 
Ifonne et laid sacerdotes sunius? Scriptum est, R^num quoque nos et 
saeerdotes Deo et Patri suo fecit. Differentiam inter Ordinem et Plebein 


Whatever may be thought of this passage in other respects, 
one thing is clear, that Tertulliaa had no notion, that con- 
secration by a bishop or presbyter was essential to the partici- 
pation of the Eucharist, but distinctly held, that, in their 
absence, it was quite competent to a layman to celebrate it ; 
which shows that he regarded it merely as a matter of eccle- 
siastical order. For this passage, which had been shamefully 
falsified in the editions of Pamelius,^ we are indebted to the 
honesty of Iligaltius, who gave the passage as he found it ; 
and, in his first edition,^ added a note explanatory of the pas- 
sage, in which he admitted, that it recognised the power of a 
layman both to baptize and offer the Eucharist, in a case of 
necessity such as here contemplated;^ but suffered for his 
temerity in affixing such a note, being vehemently attacked for 
it by Albaspinicus, Archbishop of Orleans, in his treatise " On 
the Eucharist," and others ; and afterwards, the matter being 
carried before the Pope, was forced to make his peace for it 
with Rome in the best way he could;* and for this note are 

coustituit Eeclesia) auctoritajt, et houor par Ordiiuf onnwrom tsanctificatuii, 
adeo ubi Eeelesia^tiei Ordiniii uon eitt oon wu i, et oflen, et tingoia, et sacer- 
dos es tibi solus. Sed ubi tres, eoden* est, lk«t bud. Uniuquiaqae enim 
sua fide vivit, nee est personaruui acoeptio apud Deoui ; quoniaiB uon audi- 
tores legis justiticsiutur a Deo, sed faetores, secundum quod et Apostolus dieit. 
Igitiir si babes jus sacerdotis iu temetipso ubi neoewe est, habeas oport«t 
etiain clisciplinaiii sacerdotis, ubi neciiise sit halx're jiu noerdotis. Diguuns 
tin^uis ? Ui^mus offers ? Quanto uiagis laioo digamo oaptale est agere pro 
sacerdote, quum \\m sacerdoti digamo facto auferatiu* agere ■acerdot«m ? Sed 
necessitati, inquis, iudidgetur. Nulla nece<>sitas excusatur quae potest non 
esse. Noli denique di^uius deprehendi, et uon committis in nect-ssitatem 
adniinistrandi quod non licet digamo. Omnes noe Dcus ita vult dispositos 
esse, xit ubiquc sacramentis cjns obeuudis apti simiis." Tebtcli. De exhort, 
castit. c. 7. Oj). cd. 1661. p. 522. The doctrine tliat three Livmen constitute a 
Church is repeated m his De I'udicit. c. 21. 

» See vol. 1. p. 205. 

» Par. 1628. 8vo 

' See his note pp. 137, 8. 

* Tlie opinion of Rigaltius was defended by Urotius in his treatise, " De 
administratione ca'uaj ubi Pastores non sunt." To this Petavius replied in 
liis treatise, " De potestate consecranili et sacrificaudi sacertiotibus a Deo con- 
cessa." Salmasius, imder the name of Walo Messalinus, followed on the 
same side as Grotius, in his treatise " De Episcopis," aiwl afterxyarib; Henry 
Dodwell, on the other, in his " De jure laicorum sacerdotal;." 


substituted, in his subsequent editions, some evasive word* 
that have no meaning. 

And for sueh an applieation of this passage, 1 have the 
authority of as learned a witness in such matters as can well 
be adduced, namely, IJingham, who says, with reference to this 
passage, " Tertullian grants no other jiriesthood to laymen, 
" save that they may baptize in case of absolute necessity, when 
" none of t/ie ecclesiastical Order can be had [and therefore, in 
" the same case, celebrate the Eucharist, for TertuUian's words 
" apply alike to one sacrament as to the other] ; wuicii was 


" Primitive Church." He adds, in which 1 cordially agree 
with him, — " But does by no means confound the offices of 
" clergy and laity together, unless any one can think cases 
" ordinary and extraordinary all one."^ 

Nor is this passage of Tertullian the only one which shows, 
that at that period there was no such notion entertained as 
that which our opponents here urge upon us, and even seem 
to regard as vital. There is a remarkable passage of a similar 
kind in Justin IMartyr, in which he clearly speaks of a// Chris- 
tians being priests of God, as being persons admitted by him 
to offer acceptable sacrifices to him, even the sacrifices of 
prayer and praise ; mentioning particularly, among the latter, 
the sacrifice made in the eucharist of the bread and wine. These 
are his words. " We [Christians^ are God's true sacerdotal 
" race, as also God himself testifies, saying, that, in every place 
" among the nations, they shall offer to him accejjtable and pure 
" sacrifices. But God accepts sacrifices from no one but from 
" his priests. God, therefore, having willingly received all of 
" us who, through this name, oflFer the sacrifices which Jesus 
" Christ has directed to be made, that is, in the eucharist of the 
" bread and the cup, which in every place of the earth are made 
" by Christians, witnesses that we are well-pleasing to him ;" 
and then, a little further on, very clearly shows what he means 
by " sacrifices " in these words, — " That, therefore, both 
" prayers and thanksgivings (eucharists) m.ade by the worthy 
1 Bikgham's Antiq. of the Christian Church, bk. i. c. 5, 4. 


" are the only perfect and acceptable sacrifices to God, I also 
" affirm. Fur these alone Christians have been tauyht to perform, 
" both for a memorial of their food, both as to meat and drink, 
" and one in which a commemoration is made of tfie passion 
" which God [read, the Soji] of God suffered for them."^ 

As far, then, as it regards the essentials of the sacrament 
itself, the eucharist of pious Christians [d^iW] is, according to 
Justin Martyr, an acceptable sacrifice to God. The office of 
the bishop or presbyter, then, with respect to it, is a point not 
affecting the reality of the sacrament, but one of ecclesiastical 
order; and one therefore, be it remembered, which in the eyes 
of him who has instituted the ministerial office, and who is 
the God of order, is, under ordinary circumstances, of no little 

Before I conclude this head, I would also point the reader's 
attention to a remarkable passage on this subject iu the 
writings of another Romanist — though, it must be admitted, 
one upon whom Home appears to have had a very slight hold, 
being, nevei'thcless, one of her most learned sons, — I mean 
Erasmus. In a Letter to Cuthbert Tonstall, Bishop of Dur- 
ham, he says, — " It is evident that in the times of the Apostles 
" there was a communion which laymen made among themselves, 
" with the offering of prayer and praise ; and that bread, as is 
" probable, tliey called the body of the Lord, as even in the 
" Holy Scriptures the same word is frequently applied to the 
" sign and the thing signified. . . . Nor do we find any place 
'* in the Canonical Writings where the Apostles certainly con- 

* *Af»x'fp«Ti)C(J»' tJ» aXf^Oivhv yfvos tafiiy rov ©eoD, us Kol avrbs 6 &(bs ^laprv- 
pu, flnoDv 8t< eV irayrl r6-n(f iv to7s idvtat dvclas fvaptdTovs ainf ical Kadapas 
•npo(r<pfpovT(s. Ov Sf^trai 5« nap' ovSfyhs dvcrlas 6 6ths, flfJ-^ Sta rwy ifpfuy 
avTov. ndin-as olv o\ 5(a toC oySfiaros rovrov 9iMrlas tis irapfStuKfy iTjaovi 6 Xpur- 
rhs ylytadai, rovrtariy tirj rp (vxapi(fTic(. rov &pTov koI rov ironjplov, ras 4y 
travrX rinip ttjs yi\s yiyofifyas inrb rwy Xpitrrtayuy, irpoXa^'v 6 Bths, piaprvpti tva- 

pta-Tovs inrdpxfiy ciin(p "Ori fify oSy koI (vxcd Ktxl (vxafit<rrlai vwbrSy 

a^iwv yty6p,fyai, Tt\fiai fxoycu Koi evdpf(rroi flat r^ 0t^ Ovtrlcu, kcu awrrfi ^fii. 
ravra yap ix6ya Ka\ Xpitmavo) irap(\afioy rroitiy, <col cV dya/ui^<rei 8« t^j rpo^s 
avrwy ^rjpas re koI vypas, fv rj Kal rov wddovs i niiroydf Si avrov [aiTovi] 6 Sfbs 
[uios] rov &(ov fxtnyrjrai. JvsT. Mart. DuU. cum Trvph. §§ 116, 117. Op. ed. 
Ben. pp. 209, 210. (i)p. SU, 3-15, ed. Cul. 1686.) 


" secratcd the body of tlie Lord, as it is now consecrated on 
" the altar, except one passage in the eleventh chapter of the 
" first epistle to the Corinthians, and nevertheless in the tenth 
" chapter, whence this discourse of Paul had originated, there 
" is apparently no reference to priestly consecration."^ 

There can be little doubt, I think, what were the sentiments 
of Erasmus when he penned this. 

I proceed to the remaining points, which relate to the 
ministerial office and character. 

(6) We are told that we are indebted to Tradition, 
Sixthly, for the knowledge of the sqjaration of the clcryy 
from the people as a distinct Order. 

What may be the precise meaning of this, I am not sure. 
If it means, that the clergy are priests to sacrifice for the 
people, or that they are so separated from the laity that none 
of the duties of their office could, under any circumstances, be 
performed by a layman without sacrilege or profane pre- 
sumption, then, certainly, Scripture is altogether deficient in 
such infonnation ; and so, as I shall hereafter show, is " Tra- 
dition " too. Or if it be a matter of words and names, we 
may not be able to find it in Scripture. It is necessary, then, 
in order to give a clear and definitive answer on this jwint, to 
know what is the precise claim made for the clergy. 

But if the claim be that which alone either Scripture or 
Fathers will warrant, namely, that they are persons set apart, 
in accordance with the expressed will of our Lord and his 
Apostles, to minister to mankind in spiritual things, and thus 
have an office which others, not so set apart, have not, and 
therefore ought not, under ordinary circumstances, to interfere 
with, then I do not understand, how it can be maintained, that 

1 " Deinde constat, temporibus Apostolorum fiiisse synaxim, quam laid inter 
se faciebant adhibita precatione et benedictione, et eum panem (ut est proba- 
bile) appellabant corpus Domini : ut frequenter etiam in sacris Uteris eadem 
vox signo et rei signata accommodatur. . . Nee usquam in Canonicis Literis 
invenitur, ubi Apostoli certo consecraverint corpus Domini, sicut nunc conse- 
cratur in altari, except© uno loco prioris ad Corinthios Epistolae xi. et tamen 
in X. capite unde fluxerat hie Pauli sermo, non videtur agi de consecratione 
sacerdotali." Ebasmi Rot. Ep. Cuthb. Tonstall. Inter Epist. lib. 26. Ep. 
59. col. 1478, 9. cd. Lond. 1642. 


the distinction between such persons and the general body of 
Christians is not to be found in Scripture. What is the 
meaning of the following texts ? " He gave some, apostles ; 
" and some, prophets ; and some, evangelists ; and some, 
" pastors and teachers ; for the perfecting of the saints, for the 
" work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ ; 
" till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the know- 
" ledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the 
" measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." (Eph. iv. 
11—13.) " For this cause," says St. Paul to Titus, " left I 
" thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that 
" are wanting, and urcluin elders in every city, as I had appointed 
" thee ; if any be blameless," &c. (Tit. i. 5 et sefj.) " We 
" beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among 
" you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you, and to 
" esteem them vei-y highly in love for their work's sake." 
(I Thess. V. 12, 13.) " Remember them which have the rule 
" over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God, 
" whose faith follow." (Heb. xiii. 7.) " Take heed," says 
St. Paul to " the elders [or presbyters] of the Church " of 
Ephesus, " unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which 
" the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of 
" God, which he luith purchased with his own blood. For I 
" know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves 
" enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your 
" own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things,^' &c. 
(Acts XX. 17, 28—30.) 

Does not Scripture, then, clearly teach us, that there were, 
from the first, certain men peculiarly set apart by Divine and 
Apostolical direction, for " the work of the ministry," and 
direction of the Church ? Nay, one of our opponents' own 
witnesses. Dr. Hammond, will tell them, that, as to the dis- 
tinction between the laity and the clergy, it is obvious enough 
in the sacred Scriptures of the New Testament. For there 
we find frequent mention, as of bishops, priests, and deacons, 
so also of the brethren, and the faithful} 

' " Quod ad rem [i. c laii-orum ct deritormn ditotiuctionem] attiiiet, ta 
sacris Instrumcnti No\'i Scriptoribxis satis nota est. Imo et voces plaue 


That the distinction, however, was such that laymen were 
unable, under any circumstances, to ])erf()rm any of those act* 
for the performance of which the clergy were set apart, is (juite 
another question ; and if our opponents mean to contend for 
Bucli a distinction as this, then not only will Scripture, hut the 
Fathers also, fail them in proving it. This I have already 
shown under a former head, and, therefore, shall here only add 
what the author of the Commentary on the Ej)he8ians, attri- 
buted sometimes to Hilary the Deacon, sometimes to Ambrose, 
tells us. " It was granted to all," he says, " at first, both to 
" preach the gospel, and to baptize, and to interpret the Scrip- 
" tares in the Church."^ 

And as it respects, at least, preaching the gospel and inter- 
preting the Scriptures, even in the Church, it is evident from 
Scripture, that, in the Apostolical times, these acts were not 
unfrecpiently performed by those who had not been expressly 
ordained for the purpose. " They that were scattered abroad,'* 
after the death of Stephen, " went everywhere j)reacliing the 
gospel." (Acts viii. 4.) " They which w ere scattered abroad 
" upon the persecution that arose about Stephen, travelled as 
" far as Phenice, &c. preaching the word. . . .And some of them 
" spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the 
" hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed 
" and turned unto the Lord." (Acts xi. 19— 2L) And St. 
Paul in his Epistle to the Corinthians clearly forbids none 
but women to teach in their public assemblies, if only it was 

laohvvaiJiovffai, et ad illud ipsuiii quod Ignatius adstruit indicandum destinaUe, 
ubique obviaj sunt. Ibi cniiu ut imaKOitov, ■Kpfafix/rtpwv, SicucSfuy, &c., ita et 
aSf\(t>wy et iri<Trwy, meutionem non semel factam videmus." Hammosd. 
Diss, contra Blondell. &c., diss. 2. c. 6. Works rol. 4. Appendix, p. 750. 

' " Omnibus inter initia coucessum est, et evangelizare, et baptizare, et Scrip- 
turas in Ecclesia explanare." Comni. in Eph. iv. 11, 12. Inter Ambros. 
Op. ed. Ben. torn. 2. app. col 241. I woidd here remark also, that at a meet- 
ing of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and a considerable nimibcr 
of the Bishops, at the beginning of the last century, convened for the purpose of 
considering the question of the validity or invalidity of lay baptisms, with 
reference to the dissenters, it was mianimously agreed, that such baptisms were, 
in the view of our Church, valid. Sec Archbishop Sharp's Life, vol. i. pp. 369 
et seq. 


done with due attention to order, so that there were not two 
speaking at the same time. (Sec 1 Cor. xiv. 26 — 3-i.) And 
if this example be objected to, on the ground that the Apostle 
spoke only of those who had some extraordinary direct illapse 
of the Spirit upon them, without altogether allowing the force 
of the objection, I reply, that this only shows, that such spiri- 
tual gifts for the work of the ministry were not confined to 
those who were especially ordained for it by imposition of 
hands. Such also was the custom with the Jews in their 
synagogues. Our blessed Lord was constantly permitted to 
teach in their synagogues, (see Matt. iv. 23, ix. 35. Luke 
iv. 15, 31 — 33, 44. John xviii. 20,) and so were his disciples, 
(see Acts ix. 20. xiii. 5,) nay invited, for we read that on one 
occasion, " after the reading of the law and the prophets, the 
" rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying. Ye men 
" and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the 
" people, say on." (Acts xiii. 15.) 

The custom, therefore, was not unlikely to prevail for a 
time in the early Christian assemblies, though doubtless it was 
soon found inexpedient, and tending to produce rivalry and 

We are not, however, without instances even of a later date. 
Such things were not at all apt to alarm the Church, even at 
a subsequent period, and when occurring under circumstances 
that certainly made them objectionable ; for Eusebius, after 
telling us that Origeu, when he had tied from Alexandria to 
Cajsarea, was asked by the bishops there to expound the Scrip- 
tures in the Church, though not ordained a presbyter, gives 
us an extract from a letter written by Alexander, Bishop 
of Jerusalem, and Theoctistus, Bishop of Cajsarea, to Deme- 
trius, Bishop of Alexandria, who had blamed them for this, 
in which they say, *• As to what you have added in your 
" letters, that it was never before heard of or done, that lay- 
" men should preach in the presence of bishops,^ you have in 
" this strangely and most widely wandered from the truth. For, 
" where there are found such as are able to profit the brethren, 
" those the holy bishops voluntarily exhort to preach to the 


" people. Thus, EuclpiB was asked to preach hy Neon at La- 
" raiula, Paulinas by Celsus at leoniutn, Theodoras by Atticas 
" at Synnada, who were our most blessed brethren. And the 
" samethingwasprobably done elsewhere, although it does not 
" come within oar knowledge."' Such proceedings, I confess, 
appear irregular and disorderly, and likely, under ordinary 
circumstances, to lead to much evil. Nor can they be reason- 
ably defended on the ground that such lay ministrations were 
allowed in the Apostolical times, because the circumstances 
under which they took place were very different when the 
Church was in her infancy; but our opponents would, I think, 
do well to consider, how strongly these occurrences in the 
early Church go to disprove their assertion, that for their 
high-flown notions of the exclusive rights of the clergy in 
things spiritual they have the universal consent of pure Anti- 

(7) I pass on to the 

Seventh point, namely, — Tlie threefold Order of the ministry ; 
another point for which, according to our opponents, we arc 
indebted to Tradition. 

To sec the labours of our gi'cat divines who have pointed 
out the clear and plain authority we have in Scripture for the 
threefold Order of our ministry thus dismissed as unavailing, 
for the mere purpose of propping up the cause of " Tradition," 
is indeed melancholy. The very ground upon which our 
greatest theologians have rested the strength of their cause in 
this matter, is thus abandoned, and the constitution of our 
ministiy placed upon a foundation of sand. 

To add anything new to the proofs which our divines have 
so frequently adduced from Scripture on the point we are now 
considering, I pretend not, but will briefly remind the reader 
how the case really stands. 

For some time after our Lord's ascension, the Church 

was confined to Jerusalem, and the work of the ministry 

performed apparently by the Apostles alone. (See Acts eh. 

i._v., particularly ii. 42.iv.35.v. 29, 42.) But, "when the num- 

1 EUSEB. Hist. Eccl. vi. 19. ed. Reading, p. 283, 284. 


ber of the discipleswas multiplied,"(Act8 vi. 1.) it was considered 
by the Apostles, that there were some parts of the ministerial 
office which might with advantage be delegated to others, and 
accordingly the Order of deacons was appointed for the subor- 
dinate duties of the ministry, in order that the Apostles 
might " give themselves continually to prayer and to the minis- 
try of the word," (Acts vi. 4,) and they were ordained to their 
office by imposition of hands by the Apostles. (Acts vi. G.) 

Further, we find tljat in the Church thus existing at Jeru- 
salem there was also an Order of presbyters, sharing with the 
Apostles themselves the supreme government of the Church ; 
for, upon the dispute respecting circumcision, "the apostles 
" and elders [presbyters] came together for to consider of this 
" matter." (Acts xv. 6.) And though it appears, that there 
were others present in such councils besides them, (Acts xv. 
22, 23,) yet it is evident, that the decisions depended upon 
the Apostles and elders [presbyters] only, for it is said, that 
Paul and Silas, " as they went through the cities, delivered 
" them the decrees for to keep that were ordained of the apo- 
" sties and elders [^presbi/ters'\ that were at Jerusalem." (Acts 
xvi. 4, see also xxi. 18, 25.) Evidently, then, there were in the 
Church at Jerusalem three distinct Orders or ranks, — apostles, 
presbyters, and deacons. Who the presbyters were, or how 
appointed, or to what office, we have yet to inquire. 

Passing on, then, to a subsequent period of the Apostolical 
history, we find the Apostles *' ordaining presbyters in every 
Church," (Acts xiv. 23,) and St. Paul, upon passing on one 
occasion near Ephesus, where a Church had been planted, sends 
for the " presbyters of the Church," and gives them this ex- 
hortation, "Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over 
" the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers (or bishops, 
•" eiri(TK07rous), to feed the Church of God, which he hath pur- 
" chased with his own blood.'' (Acts xx. 17, 28.) In what the 
office of these presbyters, then, consisted, and how they were 
appointed, we can have no doubt. And we find from this 
passage, as well as from otliers to which we shall allude pre- 
sently, that they then had the name of bishops ; and I need 


hardly observe, that this in no respect militates aj^ainst what 
wc arc now attcmptinj? to prove, because it is not the nnme, 
but the thint/ for which wc contend. They were overseers of 
their particular flocks, and so are elsewhere said to preside 
over them, {irpdicrTaiiivovs vixSiv) (see I Thess. v. 12, and 
] Tim. v. 17,) a word which is used also by Justin Martyr 
with reference to the minister who officiated in the public 

But our ])roof is at present, no doubt, incomplete. Pass 
we on, therefore, to the Epistles of St. Paul to Timothy and 
Titus ; and there, particularly in the former, we shall find clear 
and distinct evidence of that for which we are inquiring. 
Timothy was then stationed at Ephesus, where the presbyters 
or bishops were whom St. Paul had addressed as wc have seen 
above ; and from this Epistle we learn, that besides them 
(1 Tim. iii. 1 et seq.) there were sAao deacons, (iii. 12 et scq.) 
respecting whom the Apostle gives certain directions ; and, 
with the exception of the directions he gave to Timothy him- 
self, tfiese are the only ecclesiastical Orders or ranks of whom he 
speaks ; and to Timothy he gives such directions as these; — 
" Against a presbyter receive not an accusation, but before two 
" or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that 
" others also may fear. I charge thee before God and the 
'' Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe 
" these things, without preferring one before another ; doing 
** nothing by partiality. Lay hands suddenly on no man." 
(v. 19 — 22.) He is to "charge some that they teach no other 
doctrine^' than what the Apostle had taught (i. 3), and 
the dii-ections of the Apostle as to the character of the pres- 
byters and deacons are given, that he might know how to act 
in the Church, (iii. 15.) Here, then, is clearly one of an Order 
or rank distinct from that of the presbyters and deacons ; a 
president or pastor, or, as we now call it, bishop of the pres- 
byters and deacons. 

In the Epistle to Titus, we read as follows, — " For this 

1 He calls him tlie president {b Tcpoearws) in passages alrewly cited above 
from his first Apology. 


" cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order 
" the things that are wanting, and ordain presbyters in 
" every city, as I had appointed thee : if any be blameless, 
" &c. ; for a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of 
" God, &c." (Tit. i. 5 et seq.) " There are many unruly and 
" vain talkers . . . whose mouths must be stopped . . . 
" Wherefore rebuke them sharply" (i. 10 — 13). "A man that 
is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject." 
(iii. 10.) Here, then, we find Titus commissioned by the 
Apostle to perform the same duties at Crete, as Timothy %a8 
at Ephesus. And these directions to Timothy and Titus be- 
come doubly forcible in proof of tlie point in question, when 
we compare them with the language of the Apostle to Churches 
where no such president appears to have been appointed ; as, 
for instance, the Corinthian, to which the Apostle says, — " the 
rest will I set in order when I come.'* (1 Cor. xi. 34.) And, 
as it respects the imj)ortant point of oriliiiation, let us observe, 
that the language used in these Epistles shows, that, ordinarily, 
it belonged exclusively to them to ordain ; not merely from the 
charge of ordination being expressly delivered to them alone, 
but from the power given them over the presbyters, which 
renders it absurd to suppose that the presbyters there might 
of themselves appoint others to be presbyters, and thus have 
the power of introducing any teachers they pleased into the 

By what particular name these presidents of the Churches 
were then known, is a question of comparatively little moment. 
There is some evidence, however, in favour of their having had 
the title of Apostles. That several besides the twelve had this 
title, is clear ; ^ and the phrase " Apostles of the Churches," 
(aTToo-ToXoi €KKki]cnu>v) occurs in 2 Cor. viii. 23, and not 
improbably designated those who had been appointed, by those 
Apostles who bore the immediate commission of our Lord, to 
have the chief superintendence of those Churches ; and thus 
St. Paul, when writing to the Philippians, calls Epaphroditus 

' Sec Horn. xvj. 7, ttc. 


their Apostle} We may observe, therefore, that in this Epistle 
to the J*hilip])ians, we liave another reniarkabh; testimony to 
the position, that the clergy then consisted of three Orders 
corresponding to those which have been received in all Kpis- 
copal Churches. For, this epistle is addressed by the Apostle 
to the saints at Philippi, *' with the bishops and deacons" 
(IMiil. i. 1,) which shows that these were the only Orders of 
ministers then present at Philippi ; to whom, however, we are 
to add Epaphroditus, tlieir Apostle, who waa then with St. 
Patfl, having been sent to him by the Church at Philippi, 
(Phil. iv. 18,) and who returned to Philippi with St. Paul's 
letter, (ii. 25, et seq. &c.) In the Book of Revelation we find 
them spoken of (as we shall see presently) under the name of 
the anyel of the Church over which they presided, a name very 
similar in meaning to that of Apostle -, and in the writings 
immediately succeeding the Apostolical times, we find such 
persons known by the name of bishops of the Churches. 

But all with which we are here concerned is, the office itself, 
— and for that, as we have seen, we have, in the Epistles to 
Timothy and Titus, clear and distinct proof.' 

* Phil. ii. 25. v^iSiv a-K6(TTo\ov. Our tranelators have rendered it mettenger, 
as in 2 Cor. viiL 23. 

2 Theodoret states, as a kno\\ni fact, tliat " they formerly called the same 
persons presbyters and hishojjs ; and those that are now called bishops, they 
named Apostles ; but afterwards they left the name of the Apostleship to those 
that were truly Apostles ; and gave the name of the episcopate to those who 
were before called Apostles." Tohs ainovs iKiKow Trort trpfff^irrtpovs kcu iiriff- 
ic6itovs' rovs 5e vvv KoXovfj-fvovs (iriaKSrovs, airoaroKovs uvdfiLa^oy rov 8t j(j>6i/ov 
itpoi6vros, rh fifv ttjs airo(rToKrjs ovofia rots hXrjOui a.ito<n6\oii KartKiirov t^v 
8e TTJS iinaKoinjs irpo<Ti\yopiav rols iriXcu KoXovfityois iiTro(rr6\ots i-ri6e<ray. 
Theodobet. In Ep. 1. ad Tim. iii. 1. Op. ed. Schulz. 1769. tom. iiL p. 652. 
It appears to me not improbable, that the name Apostle was used only to de- 
note those whom the Apostles themselves had appointed to the presidency of 
the Churches ; (and was not perhaps latterly, i.e. in the latter part of St. John's 
life, applied even to these ;) and that those who succeeded them, not having had 
Apostolic appointment to their office, contented themselves with a name which 
had been before either common to all presbji;ers, or at least apphcable to pres- 
byters who had nothing more than an ordinary pastoral charge. The name 
Apostle, we may obsers-e, is given by Clem. Alex, to Clement of Rome, when 
quoting his first Epistle to the Corinthians, 6 airotnoXos KA.^/it7J. Strom, lib. 
iv. § 17. Op. ed. Potter, p, 609. (Sylb. p. 516.) 


And besides these three Orders, we read of no others beiny 
appointed by the Apostles ; for the otlier names we meet with, 
as propliet, &c., are not descriptive of persons set apart by the 
Apostles to fulfil certain duties, but of those who had received 
an extraordinary gift of the Holy Spirit, such as the name 
imported. The standing ministx-y of the Church consisted of 
three Orders only; but, in the infancy of the Church, it pleased 
God to qualify many others in a peculiar way to take a part in 
the work of spiritual instruction. And this may, in a great 
measure, account for the apparent exercise of parts of the 
ministerial office by those who did not belong to any of the 
three Orders at this period ; and should make others who are 
apt to plead their example, somewhat more cautious of an 
unnecessary interference with the ministerial function. 

Having, then, thus found in Scripture distinct evidence for 
the Apostolical institution of these three Orders in the ministry, 
we appeal further to the practice of the earliest times of the 
Cluu'ch, as testified to us by those who were eye-witnesses of 
it, to give to any who may be unconvinced by the evidence of 
Scripture, (and however clear and sufficient it may be, this may 
happen,) additional proof that our views of the matter are 
correct. But it is upon Scripture that we rely for the proof 
of the Apostolicity of these three Orders. We have no other 
testimony to the Apostolicity of such matters suiEcieut to 
establish a claim upon us for their observance, as our opponents 
are themselves forced practically to admit (as we have already 
seen^) in some points of a similar nature, which they have 
themselves abandoned. 

(8) The eighth point for our consideration is one which has 
been, in a measure, anticipated in the last ; but demands, from 
its importance, a separate notice, namely, — the yovernment of 
the Church by Bishops. 

We have already observed, that originally the name bishop 
was given to the presbyters. But the point in question is not 
the name but the thing ; i. e.. Whether there is Scriptural 
proof, that there were, in the Churches of the Apostolical 

1 See above, ch. v. § 8. vol. i. pp. 386—401. 


times, besides the presbyters and deacons, any presidents or 
superintendents of such Churches, corresjM)nding to what we 
now call bishops, by whatever name they might then be 
known ; whether Apostles, auyels, or any other title. 

The answer to this question, then, may be found under our 
last head ; for we have there shown, that Scripture distinctly 
informs us, that Timothy and Titus were such presidenta of 
the Churches of Ephesus and Crete respectively. 

And I would here also point the reader's attention to the 
fact, that the Scripture evidence on this point is so clear, that 
it has been freely admitted by many of the best divines of the 
Foreign Reformed Churches ; a fact which all who wish well 
to episcopacy, should duly consider before they attempt to 
deprive their cause of its best support. Thus, Abr. Scultetus, 
commenting on the Epistle to Titus, observes, that episcopacy 
is of divine right because the Apostles set bishops over pres- 
byters ; ^ and he acknowledges, that this Epistle shows, that the 
power of ordination and the direction of ecclesiastical matters, 
rests in them.^ " We learn hence," says Calvin on Tit. i. 5, 
" that there was not then an equality among the ministers of 
" the Church, but that one was with authority placed over 
" others." ^ That we have Scripture authority for episcopacy, 
is also clearly admitted by Luther ;* and Isaac Casaubon says, 
" Bishops, priests, and deacons are founded upon clear testi- 
monies of Scripture." (Apertis Scripturse testimoniis.)^ 

Further ; there is also another portion of Scripture afford- 
ing equally strong evidence for the point we are now con- 
sidering, namely, our Lord's Epistles to the seven Churches 
of Asia in the Book of Revelation, which are addressed to the 
angels of those Churches. True, indeed, it is, that attempts 

^ See Confessions and Proofs of Protestant Divines that Episcopacy Ls 
according to the Word of God, &c. Oxf. 1&44. 4to. pp. 18, 19. 

* In Tit. c. ii. 

' Confessions, &c. p. 34. 

* " Si Pontifices et Episcopi desinant Evangelium persequi, &c pare- 

bimus libenter ipsorum autoritati, cpMtn verba dimno videmtis comtnujutatn." 
LxTTH. in Hos. ii. 2. 

* Casaubon. Exercit. See " Confessions," &c. p. 7. 


have been made to explain away this evidence, by interpreting 
the word " angel" as applying to either the whole Church, or 
the whole body of pastors in it ; or, in short, anything rather 
than that which it so obviously denotes, namely, some one in- 
dividual recognised as chief or president of the Church. It is 
not, surely, without reason, that it may be said obviously to 
denote it, when we find it confessed by so many, whose preju- 
dices would have favoured another interpretation. It is thus 
interpreted by, among others, Diodati, Theodore Bcza, Bul- 
linger, Marlorate, Gualther, Piscator, Pai-aeus, and Peter 
Martyr.^ And Scultetus says, " All the most learned interpre- 
" ters, by the angels of the seven churches, understand the 
" bishops of the seven Churches, mir can it be otherwise inter- 
" preted without violence to the text." " And Cartwright says, — 
" The letters written to the Churches were therefore directed 
" to the angel, because he is the meetest man by office by 
" whom the Church may understand the tenor of the letter." ^ 
Our last witness shall be Grotius, who says, — " Our fourth 
" proposition is this, that this episcopacy is approved by 
" Divine law ; or as Bucer says, it seemed good unto the 
" Holy Ghost that one among the presbyters should be 
" charged with a peculiar care. The Divine Apocalypse affords 
" an irrefragable argument for this assertion, for Christ him- 
" self commands that a letter should be sent unto the seven 
" angels of the Asian Churches. They who by angels under- 
" stand the Churches themselves, manifestly contradict the 
" Holy Scriptures, for * the candlesticks are the Churches,* 
" Christ says, ' and the stars are the angels of the seven 
'' Churches.' It is surprising how far men are carried away 
" by the love of contradicting, when they dare to confound 
" things so clearly distinguished by the Holy Spirit. We do 
" not deny, that the name angel may, in a general sense, be 

' See " Confessions and Proofs," &<•• pp. 45 — 47. 

* " Doctissimi quique interpretes per septem Ecclesiarum angeloe interpre- 
tantur septeui Ecclesiarum episcopos, ueque enim aliter possuiit, vim nisi 
facere textui velint." Abr. Scclt. Obs. in Tit. In " Confessions," &c. p. 47. 

* Cabtwkight On the Rhem. Test, on Apoc. ii. See " Confessions," 4c. 
p 47. 

R 2 


" applied to every pastor, but here it is manifest, tliat it is 
" used for one in each Church. Was there, then, only one 
" pastor in each city ? By no means. For from the times of 
" St. Paul there were several presbyters appointed at Ephesus 
" to feed the Church of God. Why, then, are the letters sent 
'* to one in each Church, if no one had a certain peculiar and 
*' eminent function ? " ' 

In this j)ortion of Scripture, then, we have a distinct recog- 
nition on the part of our Ix)rd himself of the office which we 
now call the episcopal office ; and beyond the mere recognition 
of such presidents of the Churches by the epistles being ad- 
dressed to them, we must observe that they are described a* 
stars held in his right hand. (Rev. i. 10, 20.) 

True, the Churches themselves are so far addressed in these 
Letters through their presidents, that we cannot draw any 
decisive argument from them as to the power possessed ^Jy 
these officers, but that they had a general power of superin- 
tendence and control cannot of course be questioned, because 
for no other purpose could they be made presidents of the 
Churches. But as it respects the duties and powers of such 
officers, we have sufficient information in the Epistles to 
Timothy and Titus. 

Let me remind the Tractators of what Hooker has said on 
this point. " To the Apostles in the beginning, and to the 
" bishops always since, we find plainly both in Scripture and in 
" all ecclesiastical records, other ministers of the word and 
" sacraments have been subordinate;"^ and respecting our 
Church polity generally, he hesitates not to say against the 
Nonconformists, " If we did seek to maintain that which most 
" advantageth our own cause, the very best way for us, and the 
" strongest against them, were to hold, even as they do, that in 
" Scripture there must needs be found some particular form of 
" Church polity which God hath instituted, and which for that 
" very cause belongeth to all Churches to all times." ^ 

1 Ghot. De imper. Summ. Pot. circa sacra, c. 11. pp. 316, 17. ed. Pang. 
1647. 12mo. 
* Hooker's EccL Pol. iii. 11. 
^ lb. iii, 10. fin. The reason why he does not press this argument is, he 


1 must add further, however, that when we find that the 
presbyters were, at Jerusalem, joined with even the Apostles 
themselves in the Conciliar meetings by which the weightier 
matters relating to the Church were determined, and that the 
decrees issued were spoken of as the decrees of " the Apostles 
and presbyters" (Acts xv. 6. xvi. 4. xxi. 18, 25,) we seem to 
have in this very sufficient Scripture testimony to the doctrine, 
abundantly recognised in Primitive Antiquity, and by the con- 
stitution of the Diocesan and Provincial Synods in our own 
Church, that in such matters the bishops or presidents of the 
various Churches were not to act alone, but with the advice 
and consent of the presbytery of their Church. "As the 
" presbyters," says Dean Field, " may do nothing without the 
*' bishop, so he may do nothing in matters of greatest moment 
" and consequence without their presence and advice. AVhere- 
" upon the Council of Carthage (Cone. iv. Can. 23,) voideth 
" all sentences of bishops which the presence of their clergy 
" confirmeth not." ^ " With the bishop," says Archbishop 
Usher, speaking of the Primitive Church, " who was the chief 
" president, (and therefore stiled by TertuUian, in another 
" place, De bapt. c. 17. Summus Sacerdos, for distinction sake,) 
" the rest of the dispenses of the word and sacraments joined 
" in the common government of the Church, and therefore 
" where, in matters of ecclesiastical judicature, Cornelius, 
" bishop of Rome, used the received form oi yathering together 
" the presbytery, (Cornel, ap. Cypr. ep. 46,) of what persons 
" that did consist Cyprian sufficiently declareth, when he 
" wisheth him to read his Letters * to the flourishing clergy 
" which there did preside, or rule, with him,' (Cyprian, ep. 55, 
" ad Cornel.) ; the presence of the clergy being thought to be 
" so requisite in matters of episcopal audience, that in the 
** fourth Council of Carthage it was concluded, * That the 
" bishop might hear no man's cause without the presence of 
" the clergy, and that otherwise the bishop's sentence should 

tells us, because, iu such points, laws onLuuctl by God himself, aud Ibuud ia 
Scripture, are mutable. 

» Field, Of the Chiu-ch, bk. v. c. 27. 


" be void, unless it were confirmed by the presence of tbc 
" clergy, (Cone. Carthag. iv. c. 23,) which we find also to be 
" inserted into the canons of Egbert, (Excerpt. Egl>ert.c. 43,) 
" who was Archbishop of York in the Saxon times, and aftcr- 
" wards into the body of the Canon law itself. (15. q. 7. cap. 
" Nulltu.)" * Nay, even with respect to ordination, an act 
which peculiarly belongs to the office of bishop, as appears by 
the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, it is in confessu that some 
presbyters ought to join with the bishop in the act of impo- 
sition of hands ; not, perhaps, as sharing in the very act 
itself of ordination, but as signifying their assent to the act 
performed by the bishop. All which shows, that the govern- 
ment by bishops is not of a strictly monarchical, but of a mixed 
and limited nature. Not but what their sentence, when 
accordant with the recognised laws of the Church, may be 
valid and sufficient in the case of individuals, but in the pro- 
mulgation of laws for the observance of their Church, it will, I 
think, be found, that the best testimony is in favour of the 
doctrine, that they are in such matters to act, not ex guo motu 
alone, but with the advice and consent of the presbytery of 
their Church. This is not, however, the place to enlarge upon 
this topic, and therefore I will only add here, as a remark 
pertinent to our present subject, that upon this further question 
as to the kind and amount of power confided to bishops. 
Scripture is, as much as on the main question, our only certain 
giiide ; for the moment we get beyond the powers clearly con- 
ceded to Timothy and Titus, that moment we find Antiquity 
itself divided in opinion. 

Upon this point, then, of episcopal government, we con- 

^ The Reduction of Episcopacy, &c. ed. by Dr. Bernard, 1656. 8vo. pp. 4, 5. 
On this subject see also Bingham's Antiq. ii. 19. §§ 7. 8. It must be remem- 
bered that we are here speaking of the Primitive Church. Circumstances 
may, as in our own Chvu-ch, have placed a greater distinction between a 
bishop and a presbyter than what is here recognised, and the episcopate be 
graced, through the favour of Christian Powers, by a pre-eminence and autho- 
rity in the State which have materially altered the relative positions of a 
bishop and a presbyter of a Church in many respects, but we are here speaking 
of the constitution of the Church itself. 


elude with the same remark as in the last case, that, having 
found it clearly and distinctly recognised in Scripture as of 
Apostolic institution, we refer to the practice of the infant 
Church, as testified by eye-witnesses of it, to confirm the cor- 
rectness of our interpretation of the (as it appears to us) plmn 
testimony of Scripture, and to show also (if any still doubt 
its Apostolic origin) how agreeable such a mode of church- 
government was to the views of the earliest Christians; and 
we might certainly adduce a mass of evidence sufficient, it 
might be supposed, to convince the most incredulous and re- 
luctant reader. There are, indeed, some among the Patristi- 
cal testimonies to this point, which afford peculiarly strong 
evidence on the subject; as, for instance, the testimony of 
Irenajus to the appointment of Polycarp to be Bishop of 
Smyrna by the Apostles ;^ a matter of fact coming under his 
own observation, in which his testimony is entitled to a very 
difierent degree of estimation from that which is due to his 
statement of doctrine orally delivered by the Apostle, as our 
opponents will themselves confess, when they recollect his 
statements of Apostolical teaching respecting the millennium. 

I conclude, therefore, that we have Scripture-proof, con- 
firmed by the testimony of the Primitive Church, that it was 
an Apostolical institution, that the presbyters and deacons of 
each city or district, with the congregations belonging to them, 
(such districts being larger or smaller according to circum- 
stances,) should have a president or bishop placed over them 
to superintend the aflfairs of that Church, and ordain ministers 
as their circumstances might require. 

(9) The ninth and last point for our consideration, is that 
of the Apostolical Succession. 

On this point we must enter somewhat more fully, as under 
these words difiierent doctrines may be maintained. 

The doctrine of the Succession, as held by our Church, 
may be summed up in these two points, (1) that as the power 
of ordination and general superintendence of the Church, in- 
cluding the clergy, was committed by the Apostles to the 

' Iken Adv. ha^r. lib. 3. c, 3. Compare his Ep. ud Florin. 


presidents of the Churches, Huch as Timothy and Titus, only, 
and was not entrusted to mere preshytcri*, so this power 
could only be jjroperly exercised in any Church by those who 
succeeded such presidents in their presidency ; and that con- 
sequently all ordinations not performed by such a prelate of 
the Church are irregular and not according to the rule left 
with the Church by the Apostles, and therefore, except under 
circumstances sufficient to justify such irregularity, inadmis- 
sible. And (2) that the only regular mode of admission to the 
episcopal office is by episcopal consecration. 

With such a statement, however, of the doctrine of the 
Apostolical Succession, our opponents would be wholly dis- 
satisfied. Running, as we subnut, into the opposite extreme 
to those we have before mentioned, they hold, (1) That the 
Episcopal Order is so wholly different from that of the pres- 
byters, that the consecration of bishops by bishops is so 
essential, by Divine and Apostolical ordinance, to render them 
capable of performing the duties of the episcopal function as 
to ordination and church government, and, by consequence, 
to the succession of Orders of any kind in the Church, that, 
wherever the chain of successional episcopal consecration is 
lost, there are none duly qualified to preach the word, or 
administer the sacraments, and that those who are not in com- 
munion with a ministry so constituted form no part of the 
Church ; ^ sacramental grace, or the grace of the sacraments, 
flowing ordinarily only through the sacraments, and through 
them only when administered by ministers who have received 
such episcopal ordination ; so that through such ministers only 
we can maintain communion with Christ.^ (2) That by such 
episcopal ordination is conferred in all cases the gift of the 
Holy Spirit to abide in the person ordained, " as for all other 
" parts of his office, so for the custody of the good deposit, the 

1 See Tracts 1, 4, 7, 10, 17, 24, 33, 52, 54, 57, 60, 74, and Keble's Serm. 
App. pp. 95, et seq., and his Prcf. to Hooker, pp. li. et seq. 

'^ See for instance, Keble's Preface to Hooker, which maintains " the neces- 
sity of the ApostoUcal commission to the derivation of sacramental grace, and 
to om- mystical communion with Chi-ist," (p. Isxvii.) ; and " the exclusive virtue 
of the sacmments as ordiii;u-y means to theii- respective graces." (p. Ixxxiv.) 


" fundamentals of doctrine and practice/" which is called '* the 
" doctrine of ministerial grace derived by succession from the 
" Apostles," • or, as elsewhere, the doctrine of " episcopal 
" grace." ^ 

The consequence of all which is, that a Christian community 
in which there is no regular Episcopal Apostolical Succession, 
has no valid ministry or sacraments ; (for though they may exist 
in name, they are not recognised by God, and no grace is given 
in them ;) and as the virtue of the sacraments is in ordinary 
cases held to be the exclusive means to their respective graces, 
such communities are destitute of any ordinary means of 
attaining the graces attached to a faithful reception of the 
sacraments, and are therefore, as it inevitably follows, and as 
indeed it is expressly maintained, destitute of any comnmnion 
with Christ, and consequently form no part of the Christian 

A sufficiently hard case this, certainly, and not to be assigned 
to any, without very cogent reasons; more especially to a 
large number of Christian conmmnities, irreproachable in the 
fundamentals of the faith. 

Truly our opponents have well learned the lesson which 
they have been taught by the monk of Lerins ; thinking, I sup- 
pose, that one who always guided himself by what " everybody 
always everywhere " had said, must be right, and he certainly 
felt no hesitation in hurling still more clearly-expressed ana- 
themas. Witness his beautiful and charitable language about 
the Donatists. " Who," saith he, " is so wicked as to deny, 
" that the Donatists, and such other pests, shall burn for ever 
"with the devil ?"^ 

Alas, that such language should ever have been used re- 
specting any who were sound in the fundamentals of the faith, 
however erroneous they might be in their views of church 
polity. Our opponents will, perhaps, say, that such language 
cannot be attributed to them. Perhaps not; but let them 
well consider the position in which they place themselves, by 

' Kbble's Scrm. App. p. 105. ^ Keble's Scrui. App. p. 100. 

* Keble's Scnu. pp. 13, 44. * Viscem. Likoe>'s. Cummouit. t. 6. 


asserting tliat there arc those living in the midst of the Church 
of Christ on earth, who, though they are orthodox in the 
fundatnentiils of tlic faitli, and may be in a state of salvation, 
(for this they seem to allow,) arc not within the pale of the 
visible Church ; and thus denying the name of Christians to 
those whom they believe in their hearts that Christ will accept 

]}ut, in fact, this notion arises from their doctrine, (which 
we shall notice presently,) that the ministers of the gospel are 
sacrificing priests, like the priests of the Old Testament, 
through whose offering of sacrifice in the Eucharist, the merits 
of Christ's death are applied to the Church ; and that as the 
tribe of Levi only was selected to offer sacrifice, under the Old 
Testament, so that such offering, when presented by any other, 
was an act of profanation, in defiance of God's appointment, 
so there is a ])eculiar mode of appointment for the priests of 
the New Testament, and wherever this is transgressed in the 
least, there no acceptable sacrifice can be presented ; and con- 
sequently those who are not in communion with priests so 
appointed, have none to present the sacrifice for them, and no 
appointed or ordinary way of obtaining an interest in the 
sacrifice of Christ. 

A notion more completely subversive of the doctrine of the 
gospel of Christ, could hardly be conceived ; but I will not 
here enlarge upon it, because it will shortly come under our 
notice in a more appropriate place.^ 

Reverting, then, to our statement of what we conceive to be 
the doctrine of the Church of England upon the point now 
under consideration, I would observe, that, as far as that 
statement goes, I have as little doubt of the orthodoxy of the 
doctrine there delivered, as my opponents can have ; but, as 
it respects the Scriptural proof of it, I must draw a distinction 

1 I cannot, therefore, understand, how Dr. Pusey can ^ve the extracts he 
has quoted in his Letter to the Bishop of Oxford (pp. 163 — 8) from Abp. 
Bramhall, as coinciding with the views of the authors of the Tracts for the 
Times. Those passages are \\-ritten upon very different principles from those 
which the " Tracts " iucu]cat<>, as any reader who will take the trouble to as- 
certain the system on both sides, will at once see. 


between the two points of which it consists. The former 
appears to me to have been fully proved by the Scriptures 
already adduced on the two last articles, to which, therefore, 
I refer the reader ; and this embraces the doctrine of a tninw- 
terial Apostolical Succession ; that is, that our Lord intended 
that there should be a succession of pastors in his Church, 
to the end of time; (Eph. iv. 10, 11, &c.) that he appointed 
the first, and intended that, under all ordinary circumstances, 
all who followed them should receive their commission from 
them or their successors -^ for we find the Apostles not only 
ordaining others for the work of the ministry, but directing 
those who had charge of a Church to " commit" what they 
had learned of the Apostles " to faithful men, who should be 
able to teach others also." (2 Tim. ii. 2.) But I admit, that, 
for the latter point, there is not any Scripture proof; and we 
shall find here, as in other cases, that as the proof u not to be 
found in Scripture, so Antiquity, also, is divided with respect to 
it ; and, moreover, that though it is the doctrine of our 
Church, yet that it is held by her with an allowance for those 
who may differ from her on the point, and not as if the obser- 
vance of it was requisite by divine command, and essential to 
the validity of all ordinations ; though, for the preseiTation of 
the full ecclesiastical regularity of her own Orders, she has, 
since the Restoration, made it essential to the ministers of her 
own communion. 

I do not mean, by this, that Scripture will enable us only to 
prove the apostolicity of a mere ministerial Succession; because, 
as I have already shown, it proves that the office of a bishop 
or president in each Church, for the purpose of ordination and 
general church-government, was of Apostolical institution ; 
but that it does not show, that episcopal consecration is a sine 
qua non to the valid exercise of the duties of the presidential 
or episcopal ofiiee. In other words, if in any Church a pres- 
byter be appointed by his co-presbyters to be the bishop, or 
superintendent, or president of that Church, and perform the 

^ In such observatious, therefore, as occur m Tract 4. p. 7, aud iu Tract 17, 
I fully coiieiu*. 

252 THE CHRISTIAN religion 

usual duties of the episcopal function, we cannot prove either 
by Scripture, or by the consent of the Apostolically-primitivc 
Church, that his acts are by Apostolical ordinance invahd. 
That tliey are invalid by early ecclesiastical ordinance, I readily 
admit; just as by the Canons of Nice, and other Councils, the 
acts of bishoj)s consecrated without the consent of the Metro- 
politan, or under other circumstances of what was then con- 
sidered irregularity, might be invalid ; and, moreover, that 
nothing but very weighty considerations form a sufficient jus- 
tification for a departure from those rules of church-govern- 
ment which have been received for centuries in the Universal 
Church. But there is a wide distinction between the two 

That the Apostles appointed the first bishops in most of the 
principal Churches of the Primitive Church, there can be little 
doubt ; but the question here is, was it a sine qua nan to the 
successors of such bishops, that they should receive episcopal 
consecration ; or was it sufficient, that a presbyter should be 
a}»pointed by consent in each Church, out of their own body, 
to the vacant office ? although, as the Church became more 
settled, it was held to be convenient and befitting, that the 
person so appointed should always receive episcopal con- 
secration ; and therefore it was ordained, that such episcopal 
consecration should be held to be necessary to the valid per- 
formance of the duties of the office.^ 

In a word, supposing the Apostles to have appointed the 
first bishops iu twelve Churches, I want to know where we are 
informed, that when the bishop of one of them died, the 

* And for the sake of greater solemnity, it was ordered at an early period of 
the Church that such consecration shoiild be performed by three bishops. But 
tlus is certainly a mere ecclesiastical ordinance, and not necessary. See Jewel's 
Def. of Apol. Pt. 2. c. 5. div. 1. and Mason's Vind. &c., and BrsGHAM's Chris- 
tian Antiq. ii. 11. §§5, 6., and Cave's Life of Geegoby Thaumat. § 6., and 
Bishop Lucy's Treatise on the nature of a minister, pp. 246, et seq. And 
ExTSEBitrs says, KAi^/ujjs 'Evap4ffr<f -KopaSovs r)]v \uTovpylcw ayaXvfi rhv ^iov. 
Eccl. Hist. iii. 34. And here I would advdse our opponents to take heed how 
they make the obsci'vance of such ecclesiastical ordinances essential, for they 
will thus leave no Succession ui existence ui any Church in the present day. 


Church of the deceased bishop depended upon thfe will and 
pleasure of the remaining eleven bishops for a president, and 
could not appoint and create, to all intents and purposes^ its 
own president out of its own body of presbyters. 

It may be said, that none of the presbyters had received, in 
his ordination, the power to confer Orders ; which, to a certain 
extent, is true; because his ordination did not give him that 
office in the Church, to which the power of giving Orders was 
reserved ; but that it did not give him power to do all such 
acts, when appointed to an office in which he might lawfully 
perform them, does not appear. A presbyter curate did not 
receive, in his ordination, power to act as the rector of the 
Church where he is curate ; but it does not follow, that when 
he is lawfully appointed rector, he needs another ordination to 
perform the duties of that office. The question is, not whether 
every presbyter may ordain, but whether a presbyter, placed 
ill a particular situation in the Church of which he is a presbyter, 
may ordain. 

Putting aside for a moment the question of ordination, 
should we not grant, that, as it respects the supenision 
of the clergy and the Church, the Council of Presbyters 
would have power to appoint one of their number to such an 
office ? The case seems only analogous to that of bishops and 
archbishops ; where, by human ordinance, for the benefit of 
the Chm'ch, a superiority is granted to archbishops over 
bishops. But no such power was given to a presbyter at his 
ordination. Consequently there is a power which can be legi- 
timately conferred by the presbytery of a Church ; and then 
there remains only the question, whether the power of ordina- 
tion may be included in the grant so made. And it must be 
remembered, that, in such a case, a bishop so appointed, 
undertakes to confer nothing but what he has himself received, 
i. e. the full sacerdotal character and office. And if it be 
further objected, that he ought not only to have received this 
from the Apostles, but also the power to confer it, I reply, that 
this seems to prove too much ; for if presbyters cannot, on this 
account, under any circumstances ordain presbyters, neither 


can bishojft ordain bishops ; for thouf^h in their consecration 
power is given them to ordain, there is no notice of any power 
to confer upon others the power of ordination. And Jerome, 
speaking on a similar subject, that is, as to the power of bap- 
tizing, observes, that the reason why neither the presbyter nor 
deacon may baptize, without the bishop's leave, is only the 
preservation of ecclesiastical order ; for that, as to baptizing, 
it was frequently, if necessity rwjuired it, lawful for laymen to 
baptize ; /«r, what any one has received, that he can also give} 

The question, then, recurs, whether oriijinulhj and essentially 
the Church of the deceased bishop had not as much right to 
confer the power of ordination, for its own body, upon one of 
its presbyters, as the remaining eleven bishops had to interfere 
in the concerns of another Church, and consecrate whom they 
pleased (for it would come to that) as its president, and give 
to him the power of ordination. And before we can assert 
this, we must first prove, that the Apostles not only appointed 
bishops in these Churches, but that those bishops had power 
in other Churches also ; and further, not only that the Apos- 
tles gave them the power of conferring ordination, but also 
the power of giving to others the power of conferring it, and 
limited it to them ; which, I suspect, will be a hard task. Our 
opponents have forgotten this, when they point us so tri- 
umphantly to the lists in Irenseus and elsewhere, of the suc- 
cession of bishops in various Apostolical Churches, from the 
time of the Apostles. This is less than half of what they have 
got to prove; and shows how little they have acquainted 
themselves with the real difficulties of the subject. 

This is a question which, if it had never been mooted, and 
had no important practical bearings, I would not have brought 
under discussion ; but, in the present state of the Church, it 
is one which is forced upon our attention. "When we find 
many important ecclesiastical communities answering it in the 
negative, we are bound seriously to consider it. 

' Quod [i. e. jus baptizandi] frequenter, si tamen necessitas cc^t, sciinns 
etiam licere laicis. Ut enim accipit quis, ita et dare potest. HiEEOjr. Adv. 
Lucifer. § 9. Op. torn. ii. col. 182. ed. Vallars. 1766. See also Tebtull. De 
bapt. c. 18. 


That episcopal consecration was generally appointed in very 
early times to be, as it were, the seal to the episcopal appoint- 
ment, can hardly, I think, be questioned by any one who is 
at all versed in the records of the Primitive Church ; but, 
nevertheless, there are testimonies occurring which seem to 
show, not merely that it was not absolutely essential, but that 
it was not universally practised. 

For instance, the testimony of Eutychius of Alexandria is 
plain that such was not the case originally at Alexandria. 
His words are these. After mentioning that Mark ♦the 
Evangelist went and preached at Alexandria, and appointed 
Ilananias the first patriarch there, he adds, " Moreover he 
" appointed twelve presbyters with Hananias, who were to 
" remain with the Patriarch, so that when the Patriarchate 
" was vacant, they might elect one of the twelve presbyters, 
" upon whose head the other eleven might place their bands 
" and bless him [or, invoke a blessing upon him,] and create 
" him Patriarch, and then choose some excellent man, and 
" appoint him presbyter with themselves in the place of him 
" who was thus made Patriarch, that thus there might always 
" be twelve. Nor did this custom respecting the presbyters, 
" namely, that they should create their Patriarchs from the 
" twelve presbyters, cease at Alexandria until the times of 
*' Alexander, Patriarch of Alexandria, who was of the number 
" of the 318 [bishops at Nice]. But he forbade the presby- 
" tcrs to create the Patriarch for the future, and decreed that 
" when the Patriarch was dead, the bishops should meet to- 
" gether and ordain the Patriarch. Moreover he decreed, that 
" on a vacancy of the Patriarchate they should elect, either 
" from any countiy, or from those twelve presbyters, or 
" others, as circumstances might prescribe, some excellent 
" man and create him Patriarch. And thus that antient 
" custom by which the Patriarch used to be created by the 
" presbyters disappeared, and in its place succeeded the ordi- 
" nance for the creation of the Patriarch by the bishops." ^ 

* Tl>e following is Selden's translation of the passage from the Arabic : — 
" Constituit item Marcus Evangelista duodecim Pi-esbyteros cum Ilanania, qui 


1 have given this passage in full, because it has been tome- 
times replied, that it referred only to the election of the Patri- 
arch, and that wc must suppose that he was afterwards conse- 
crated to his office by bishops. Hut it is evident to any one 
who takes the whole passage together, that such an explana- 
tion is altogether inadmissible ; and, moreover, the very same 
word (which, following Selden, I have translated created) is 
used with respect to the act of the presbyters, as is afterwards 
used with respect to the act of the bishops in the appointment.' 

¥ am quite aware, that very considerable learning has Ix^cn 
employed in the attempt to explain away this passage, and the 
reader who wishes to see how a plain statement may thus be 
darkened, may refer to the works mentioned below.^ On one 
of those works, however, written by the learned llenaudot, I 
must oflFer a remark. Kenaudot admits, that George Elmacinus 
in the first part of his Annals gives the same account of the 
matter as Eutyehius.^ And though he quan-els with both of 
them for making such a statement, which shows what he 
thought was the plain meaning of it, he endeavours to show, 
that Eutychius was only speaking of the election, not of the 
ordination, of the Patriarch, and accordingly (following 

nempe manerent cum Patriarclia, a<leo ut, cum vacaret Patriarcliatiw, cli- 
gerent unuui e duodecim Presbj-teris ciijus capiti reliqoi undecim manwi im- 
ponerent, eumqne benedicerent, et Patriarcham eum crearent, et dein vinini 
aliquem insignem eligerent, euinque Presbj-terum secnm con«tituerent loco 
ejus qui sic fiictus est Patriarcha, ut ita semper extarent dw^decim. Neque 
desiit Alexandriae institutum boc de Presbyteris, ut scilicet Patriarchas crea- 
rent ex Presbj'teris duodecim, usque ad tempora Alexandri Pati-iarclia; Alexan- 
drini, qui ftiit ex numero illo eccxviii. Is autem vetuit, ne deinceps Patriarcbam 
Presbj-tcri crearent. Et decre^-it, ut, mortuo Patriarcha, convenirent Episcopi 
qui Patriarcliam ordinarcnt. Decrevit item, ut, vacante Patriarcbatu, eligerent 
sive ex quacunque regione, sive ex duodecim illis Presbyteris, sive aliis, ut res 
ferebat, virum aliquem eximium, eumque Patriarcliam crearent. Atque ita 
evanuit institixtum illud antiquius, quo creari solitus a Presbyteris Patriarc-ba, 
et successit in locum ejus decretum de Patriarcba ab Episcopis creando." 
EuTYCH. Pate. Alex. Ecclesiae suae orig. Ed. J. Selden. Lond. I&i2. 4to. 
pp. 2&— 31. 

' See Selden's note in bis Commentary on Eutych. p. 63. 

" See Abb. Echell. Eutycbixis Vindicatus, and Rexaudot. Hist. Patriarch. 

3 Hist. Patr. Alex. p. 10. Tliis portion of Elmacinus is yet, I believe, un- 


Echellensis) states, that the Arabic word which Selden has 
translated laid hands on, refers ouly to the holding up of the 
hand at the election, and that had Selden understood Arabic, he 
could not have thus translated it. This is in p. 10. At p. 55, 
stumbling upon a passage from Severus, where the former 
translation suited his views, or was so evidently the sense of 
the passage that he could not otherwise translate it, he blames 
Echellensis and Morinus for translating it in the latter way, 
and affirms it to mean ordination by imposition of hands. 
This surely betrays rather a bad cause ; and in fact the mean- 
ing of the passage does not wholly depend upon that one 
word. The word created is still more decisive. Moreover, 
this passage of Severus is worth noticing as giving a very 
similar account of the a[)pointment of one of the Patriarchs to 
that of Eutychius. He says, according to Renaudot himself, 
that, after the death of Theonas, " the priests and people were 
" collected together at Alexandria, and laid their hands upon 
" Peter, his son in the faith and disciple, a priest, and placed 
" him in the Patriarchal throne of Alexandria, according to the 
" command of Theonas, in the tenth year of the Emperor Dio- 
" cletian." ^ Here Renaudot contends, that the word refers to 
imposition of hands, but that because the people are mentioned 
with the priests, who never shared in such an office, therefore 
the words, thei/ laid their hands on him, must mean, hands were 
laid upon him,^ and the presence of bishops to do this is most con- 
veniently taken for granted, though no notice is given of their 
presence. I leave this to the common sense of the reader. 

But, whether the statement in this passage as to the pres- 
byters laying their hands on the bishop elect is correct or not, 
and whether it is or is not a mistranslation of Selden, I shall 
not stop to inquire. The sole object for which 1 quote the 
passage is, to show, that, according to Eutychius, the person 

> " Congregates fuisse Alexandrise sacerdotes et plebern, manusque impotuisse 
super Petrum, filium ejus spiritualem et discipiiluiu, sacerdotem, eumque ool- 
locasse in solio Patriarcliali Alexandrine juxta Theonse niandatuin, anno deoimo 
Diocletiani Imperatoris." Skvehus apud Re>'aud. Hist. Patr. Alex. p. 54. The 
extract is from a MS. work of Severus, De vit. et reb. gest. Patr. Alex. 

* " Imposuerunt illi manus, idem esse ac, imposit«e sunt illi manua." p. 55. 



appointed to the Episcopal office at Alexandria held and execu- 
ted the duties of the office without any cjjiscopal consecration. 

And this statement of Eutychius is clearly and expressly 
supported by the testimony of Jerome, in a passage where 
he plainly maintains the doctrine, that such an appoint- 
ment is sufficient to constitute a presbyter a bishop, and ad- 
duces this example in proof of it. After having qtiotcd several 
passages of Scripture to show that a presbyter and a bishop are, 
as to the character received by Ordination, the same,* he adds, 
" But that, afterwards, one was chosen to be over the rest, was 
" done to prevent schism, lest each one drawing the Church 
" of Christ after him should break it up. For at Alexandria, 
" also, from Mark the Evangelist to the bishops Heraclas and 
** Dionysius, the presbyters always called one elected from 
" among themselves, and placed in a higher rank, their bishop; 
" just as an army may constitute its general, or deacons may 
" elect one of themselves, whom they know to be diligent, and 
" call him archdeacon. For what does a bishop do, with the 
" exception of Ordination, which a presbyter may not do?"^ 

This passage, be it obser\ed, does not take away from the 
episcopate its peculiar rights, but distinctly admits, that the 
power of Ordination belongs properly to that office, and 
that its possessor has a higher rank than the presbyter ; but 
at the same time it clearly maintains, that, as it respects the 
ministerial character, there is no difference between a presbyter 
and a bishop, the difference being only to be found in the ec- 
clesiastical distribution of the duties to be performed by them ; 
and what is still more to our purpose, that appointment to the 
episcopal office by the presbyters of a Church is sufficient (as 

' " Eundem esse episcopum atque presbytemm." 

^ " Quod autem postea unus electus est qui caeteris praeponeretur, in schis- 
matis remedium factum est ; ne unusquisque ad se trahens Christi ecclesiam 
rumperet. Nam et Alexandrise a Marco Evangelista usque ad Heraclam et 
Dionysium Episcppos Presbyteri semper imum ex se electum in excelsiori gradu 
collocatum episcopum nominabant : quomodo si exercitus imperatorem faciat, 
aut diaconi eligant de se quern industrium noverint, et archidiaconum vocent. 
Quid enim facit, excepta Ordinatione, episcopus, quod presbyter non isuaai ?" 
HiBBON. Ep. ad Evang. Ep. 146. Op. ed. Vallars. Yen. 1766. torn. L coL 1082. 


far as essentials are concerned) to entitle a presbyter to per- 
form the duties of t/ie episcopal function. 

Now these two positions are perfectly consistent with each 
other. We may maintain fully even the apostolicity of the 
episcopal form of church-government, and yet deny, that 
episcopal consecration is a sine qua non to the performance of 
the duties of the bishop or president of a Church. And if we 
bear this in mind, we shall find that Jerome, notwithstanding 
the charges of self-contradiction that have been brought against 
him, is perfetcly consistent in what he has written on this sub- 
ject. The great point with Jerome manifestly is, that such a 
president of the Church should be appointed, and such powers 
conceded to him ; and, in his view, when that is done, the 
essentials are safe.^ 

And it is most impoilaut to observe, that even the Roman- 
ist Morinus, one of the most learned divines of the Church of 
Rome, fully admits, and even maintains by the citation of various 
testimonies, that this was for a long period the custom at Alex- 
andria, referring for proof particularly to the passage of Jerome, 
just cited, and vindicating the meaning I have affixed to it 
against objections.^ He finds fault, indeed, with the passage 
of Eutychius on other grounds,* but with that I have no 
concern. I adduce it simply to show, that, in the case to 
which it refers, episcopal consecration was not considered 
necessary to constitute a presbyter a bishop. Now, on this 
point Morinus himself speaks thus : — 

" St. Jerome testifies, that, at Alexandria, from the time of 
" Mark the Evangelist to Dionysius, that is, for the space of 
** nearly two hundred years, the Bishops were inaugurated 
" without any consecration, but the Presbyters of Alexandria, 
" when their Bishop was dead, elected one of their own Order, 
" and belonging to their own Church, and placed him upon 
" the higher throne and called him Bishop. By which example 

' Sethis tract. Adv. Lucifer. § 9. torn. ii. col. 182. 

2 MoRiN. De Sacris Ordinationibus, Par. iii. Excrc. 3. c. 2. §§4 et seq. ed. 
Antw. 1695. pt. iii. pp. 30—32. 

i* Id. ib. Exerc. 7. c 7. §§ 1 et sey. ib. p. 199 et seq. 

s 2 


" truly it most clearly appears, that neither Jerome nor the 
" Alexandrines recognised that character by wliich a Bishop in 
" said to be above a Presbyter, since no prayer, no ceremony, 
" no form of words, was used over the Presbyter elected, 
" You will 8ay, he mentions none, but it cannot be hence con- 
" chided that there was none, since it is certain that authors 
" do not always relate everything that takes place. This 
" indeed is true, but the scope and words of St. Jerome do 
" not admit of this objection. For he contends, that a Pres- 
" byter is the same as a Bishop, and proves this from the 
" peculiar and unusual custom of the Alexandrines, who 
" make use of no consecration, no words to consecrate as a 
" Bishop the Presbyter elected by them, but only place him in 
" the throne and call him Bishop."^ And he proceeds to 
adduce other arguments to show that this was the meaning of 
Jerome's words, and adds other testimonies to the fact stated. 
And again, in the same work, referring to the " Breviarium" 
of Liberatus, he says, " It clearly follows from it, that for at 
" least two hundred years after Alexander, the Presbyters of 
" Alexandria, not the Bishops, elected the Patriarch ; and that 
" neither the Presbyters, nor the Bishops, nor any other per- 
" sons, laid their hand on the person elected." * 

• "Testatur S. Hieronymiw, Alexandrise nulla consecratione inaugnraios fbiite 
Episcopos a tempore Marci Evangelistee ad Dionysium, hoc est, annorum prope 
doccntorum spatio, sed Presbyteroa Alexandrinos mortuo Epi«copo sue unum 
ex Ordine et greniio Ecclesia; 8us elegine, thronoque excelsiori collocaase, et 
EpiscopuTn appellasse. Quo sane exemplo evidentissinie constat, nee Hierony- 
nium nee Alexandrlnos agnovisse characterem ilium quo Episcopus Presbytero 
prsestare dicitur, cum super Presbytcrum electum nulla oratio, nulla ceremonia, 
nulla verborum formula usiu^jata fuerit. Dices, nullam commemorat, non ideo 
tamen colligi potest nullam fuisse, cum certum sit autores non omnia quae fiunt. 
Hamper referre. Verum equidem est, sed in scope et verbis S. Hieronymi locum' 
non habet hsec exceptio. Contendit enim Presbyterum idem esse cum Epia- 
copo, atque hoc demonstrat ex special! et extraordinaria Alexandrinorum consue- 
tudine, qui nullam adhibent consecrationem, nulla verba ut consecrent in Epis- 
copum, electum a se Presbyterum, sed tantum in solio collocant, et appellant 
Episcopum." MoBiN. De Sacr. Ordin. Par. iii. Exerc. 3. c. 2. § 4. ed. Antw. 
1695. p. 30. 

2 " Ex eo colligitur evidenter, ducentis saltem post Alexandram annis Presby- 
teros Alexandrinos, non Episcopos, Patriarcham elegisse : nee Presbyteros, nee 
Episcopos, nee quosvis alios, manum electo imposuisse." Id. ib. p. 122. 


I will add one more testimony on this matter. The author of 
the Commentaries on St. Paul's Epistles, attributed by some 
to Ambrose, and by others to Hilary the Deacon, says, — "The 
" Apostle calls Timothy, created by him a presbyter} a bishop, 
" (for the first presbyters were called bishops,) that, when he 
" departed, the one that came next might succeed him. More- 
" over, in Egypt the presbyters confirm, if a bishop is not 
" present.^ But, because the presbyters that followed, began 
" to be found unworthy to hold the primacy, the custom was 
" altered, the Council foreseeing that not order but merit 
" ought to make a bishop, and that he should be ai)pointed 
" by the judgment of many priests, lest an unworthy person 
" should rashly usurp the office, and be a scandal to many."' 

These passages, then, clearly contradict the notion of our 

• Timothy is here said, we may obsen-e, to Imve been orduned a presbyter. 
And I cannot but tliiiik that the pasaai^, 1 Tim. iv. 14, ia favourable to this 
view. For, without adopting the tranidation wliich waiie \m,f glTOi at th* 
passage, viz. " with the laying on of bauds fur the otRee at s prosbjtcr,*' if 
we retain oiur own version, which appears to me more natural, who or what U 
" the Tpresbyiery" 1 Certaiidy not consisting altogether of Apostles, though it 
appears, from 2 Tim. i. 6, tliat Ortlination was received by llmothy partly 
ik)m St. Paul. But if presbyters joiued in that Ordination, it could not be to 
a liigher sacerdotal gnule or order than that of thepresbyterhood. Nor is this 
inconsistent with his bohig called elsewhere an Apostle, which name might be 
given him as one appointed to be a superintendent of a Church. 

* The author of the " Qua^stiones in Vet. et Nov. Test." which have been 
ascribed to Augustine, but are probably not his, says, " In Alexandria, and 
through the whole of Eg^-pt, if there is no bishop, a presbyter comecratet." 
(In Alexandria et per totam ^gyptum, si desit episcopus, consecrat presbyter.) 
Where, however, one MS. reads, confirms (consignat). See Aro. Op. torn. iii. 
App. col. 93. On this subject the 13th canon of the Council of Ancyra (in 
the Code of the Universal Church) is also worth notice. 

3 " Timotheiun presbyterum a se creatum episcopum vocat, quia primi pres- 
byteri episcopi appellabantur, ut, recedeate eo, setjuens ei succederet. Denique 
apud ^gyptmn presbyteri cousignant, si pnesens non sit episcopus. Sed quia 
cceperunt sequentes presbyteri indigni uiveniri ad primatus tenendos, immu- 
tata est ratio, prospiciente Concilio, ut non ordo sed meritum crearet episco- 
punij niultormn sacerdotum judicio constitutum, ne indignus temere usurparet, 
et esset niultis scanilalum." Comment, in Eph. iv. 11, 12. Inter Op. Ambros. 
ed. Ben. tom. ii. app. col. 241, 2. The " Council " is perhaps the Council of 
Nice. See Can. Nic. 4. 


Opponents as to the essential neccHKity hy Apostolical ordinance 
of the successional episcopal consecration of all bishops.' 

Before wc pass on, it may be well to offer a remark on a 
point which the passage we have just quoted from Jerome has 
brought under our notice, the consideration of which may 
tend to remove a difficulty that might arise on this subject, 
namely, the parity of the ministerial character in presbyters 
and bishops. 

We have a stream of testimonies coming down to us from 
very early times, that full powers for the performance of every 
ministerial act required by the duties of any office in the Church 
are involved in the Orders of a presbyter, and that a presbyter 
and bishop differ only as to the works of service to be per- 
formed, the mere presbyter not being permitted to pass to 
others the commission which he has received in Ordination, 
because such extension of the power of Ordination would be 
injurious to the Church; and consequently, that where that 
difficulty isremovcd by an appointment to the ejmcopal office, 
there all difficulty is removed from a presbyter, so appointed, 
freely passing to others what he has received. 

But I will here notice one or two testimonies on this point, 
in addition to that already pointed out in Jerome.' 

Thus, then, speaks Chrysostom, on 1 Tim. c. iii. : " Having 
" spoken concerning bishops . . . and passed over the Order 
" of presbyters, he went at once to the deacons. Why ? Be- 
" cause there is not much difference between them and bishops. 
" For they also themselves have received the office of teachers 
" and rulers of the Church. And what he has said respecting 
" bisliops,that is suitable also to presbyters. For bishops are su- 

* There are, also, indirect confirmatory proofs. Such, I think, is aflForded 
by the account we have in ErsEBirs (Eccles. Hist. vi. 29,) of the appointment 
of Fabianus to the bishopric of Rome ; tor, the assembly that met to elect a 
bishop having fixed upon him, placed him at once on the episcopal throne, 
(aixeW-fiTus ^ir\ rhv QpSvov ttjs iiriffKOtrris \a$6vras avrhv i-wiOtiycu,) which 
seems to me irreconcilable with the notion of the essential necessity of episcopal 
consecration to have entitled him to the episcopal seat, for he was installed in it 
without any such consecration. 

^ Another sunilar passage occurs in Jeboue, in his Comment, in Ep. ad Tit. 
c. 1. 


" perior in the matter of Ordination only,and in this respectalone 
" seem to excel presbyters/'^ To the same effect Augustine, — 
" As it respects names of honour, which the custom of the Church 
" has caused to be observed, the episcopate is greater than the 
'^ presbyterate."^ The author of the " Questions on the Old 
and New Testament," also, says, — " What is a bishop but the 
chief presbyter, or highest priest ?"' And lastly, the author 
of the Commentary on 1 Tim., attributed to Ambrose, — "After 
" the bishop the Apostle has subjoined the Ordination [Order] 
" of the deaconship. Why, but that the Ordination [Order] 
" of a bishop and presbyter is one and the same ? For each 
*' is a priest, but the bishop is chief; so that every bishop is 
" a presbyter, but not every presbyter a bishop ; for he is 
" bishop, who is chief avwny the presbyters. Moreover, he 
" intimates that Timothy was ordavied a presbyter, but inasmuch 
" as he had no other above him, he was a bishop."* 

There is also a passage of Irenseus, which though speaking 
less directly on the point in question, bears an indirect testi- 
mony remarkably strong. " We ought," he says, " to obey 
" those presbyters who are in the Church, those, I mean, who 
" have succession from the Apostles, as we have shown, who, 

' A(aAe7((/xevoy irtpX iitiaK6irw .... icoi rh rwy vfUff^vrtptty rdy^ d^ls, 
tls Tovs StaK6yovs ixfTsirffSrifff. Tl S'ffwoTf ; iri oil ■wo\v fitffoy avrHy Kcd rAp 
iiriaK6irii!v. Kal 70^ koX avrol ^iSaaKoKiav tlfflv aycLStStyfxfyoi, koI vpofrTcurlay 
T^s iKK\7jaiai- Koi & irtpJ i-KiaK6-ru>y tt-wt, ravra kolL irpfcfiinfpois apixSrrfi. Tp 
yiip x«»/>OTOv/^ fiiyp vir€pfif^Kouri, koI Toury fiiyoy SoKovat wKfoyncrfUf robs 
vpta^vTtpovs. Chrtsost. in 1 Tim. iii. bom. 11. Op. torn. xi. p. 604. 

2 " Secmidum lionormii vocabnla quae jam ecclesiso usus obtinuit, episoopatus 
prcsbj-terio major." AuausT. Ep. ad Hieron. Ep. 82. (al. 19.) § 33. Op. torn. ii. 
col. 202. 

3 " Quid est episcopus iiisi primus presbyter, boc est, summus sac4^rdu« ? 
Anon. Qua?st. in V. et N. Test. q. 101. Liter August. Op. torn. iii. app. 
col. 93. 

* " Post episcopnm diaconatus ordiuationem subjedt. Quare, nia qoia eiuB* 
copi et presbyteri una ordinatio est ? Uterque enim sacerdos est, sed episcopus 
primus est ; ut omnis episcopus presbyter sit, uou tameu omuis presbyter epis- 
copus ; hie enim episcopus est, qui inter presbyteros primus est. Deuique 
Timotheum presbyterum ordiuatum siguificat, sed quia ante se altenun non 
liabebat, episcopus erat." AifOlf. Comment, in 1 Tim. iii. 8. Inter AjlBBoe. Op. 
torn. ii. app. col. 295. 


" with the succession of the ejtvicopate, have received, according 
" to the good pleasure of the Father, the sure gift of truth . . 
" . . . . But they who arc looked upon by many as pregbyters, 
" but serve their own pU^asures. . and are elated with pride at 
" their exaltation to the chief seat. . . . shall be reproved by the 
" Word .... From all such it behoves us to stand aloof, and to 
" cleave to those who, as I have said before^ both retain the 
" doctrine of the Apostles, and, with the order ok the 
** PRE8BYTERBHIP, [or, Rs Fevardcntius reads, of a presbyter,'] 
" exhibit soundness in word, and a blameless conversation."' 

This passage appears to me decisive as to Irenaeus's view 
of the matter. And we may observe, that elsewhere he calls 
bishops presbyters.^ 

And although I am not disposed to attribute much weight 
to the scholastic divines, yet it may be well to point out to the 
reader, what were the views of the most eminent of those un- 
questionably learned theologians ; and I shall do so, not in my 
own words, but in those of Moriuus. Morinus afl&rms, that 
there are /owr views among "Catholics," that is, Romanists, 
on this point ; and states, that the one which is " most com- 
'* mon among the antient Scholastics, including the chief of 
" them," is, ** that the Episcopate does not impress a character, 
" and is not an Order or Sacrament distinct from the Priest- 
" hood ; that the Episcopate adds nothing of that kind to 
" the Priesthood ; but only through consecration something 
" sacramental : whatever it possesses of Order properly called, 
" in the sense in which seven Orders are spoken of, — what- 
" ever it possesses of a Sacrament and a character, it derives 
" that from the Priesthood which the bishop must ne- 
" cessarily have obtained before the Episcopate was con- 
*' ferred upon him : but that the Episcopate of itself, means 
" nothing else than an office, a dignity, a power, an autho- 

1 Ieen. Adv. haeres. lib. iv. c. 26. ed. Mass. (cc 43, 44. ed. Grab.) I shall 
give the ori^nal when quoting this passage more fiilly below, about fifty page* 
from this place. 

2 As in his Epistle to Victor, Bishop of Rome. Of irph ^tuTTipos xptafiv' 
repoi 01 irpoffrdvTes ttjs (KKKrifflas ?is yvi a^njyf, 'Piyiiajrov \4yofjiev, kcu TIioi', 
'ry7v6y re k. t. \. IsES. Op. ed. Mass. pp. 340, 341. (ed. Grab. pp. 465, 6); 
or in £us£B. Hist. Eccl. v. 24. ed. Bead, p 248 


" rity given to the Priest of much greater extent and dig- 
** nity, through Episcopal consecration, than that which he had 
" obtained through the character of the Priesthood.'* ^ And 
he says in the same place, that this is the view we find everj'- 
where maintained by the chief of the Scholastic divines (haec 
passim Scholasticorum doctorum principes); referring to Hugo 
a S. Vict., Peter Lombard, Alexander Hal., Bonaventura, 
Thomas Aquinas and others. 

Hence, then, we may observe, that it is not a mere dispute 
about words, whether bishops are, properly speaking, of a dif- 
ferent Order from presbyters, because, however much the 
words order, degree, &c., may often be promiscuously applied, 
without distinction, to bishops, priests, and deacons, so that 
we may find them called three Orders, three Degrees, three 
Offices, &c., yet this is no proof that there is not a sense of 
the word Order, in which it may be justly maintained, that 
presbyters and bishops are of the same Order, and that the 
maintenance of such a position is of importance, and has prac- 
tical consequences connected with it. We do not contend for 
the word, but for what that word implies ; and we understand 
such language to imply precisely what Jerome means, when he 
says, that a presbyter and a bishop are the same, which he would 
not have said of a presbyter and a deacon ; and the use of such 
language shows, that there is supposed to be no superiority of 
character in the bishop above the presbyter as to the minis- 
terial powers possessed independently of the offices held by 

He, then, who holds the two to be of the same Order, can 
hardly hold, that, by episcopal consecration any new or higher 
ministerial power is conferred. It is a solemn setting apart 

* " Prima et antiquis Scholasticis, eonunque Principibua, communissima est, 
Episcopatuin characterem non iniprimere, non esse Ordinein seu SatTamentum 
a Sacerdotio distinctuni, Episcopatum nihil illi addere ejusmodi ; sed Umtum per 
consecratioiiem aliquid sacraiuentale ; quidquid Ordiuis proprie dicti, qua ratione 
cQcuntur septeui Onlines ; quidquid Sacrament! et charaoteris habet, illud a 
Sacerdotio quo necessario ante Episcopatum imbutus esse debet, baurire. Bed 
Episcopatum per se nihil aliud dicere quam officium, dignitatem, potestatem, 
autoritatem Sacerdoti datam multo ampliorem et augustiorem, per oonsecra- 
tionem Episcopalem, ea quam per Sacerdotii characterem nacttu fuerat." 
MoKiN. De Sacr. Ordin. Pt. 3. p. 26. cd. Antw. 1695. 


of a presbyter to the fulfilment of certain duties, which, as a 
mere presbyter, he was not allowed by the Church to perform, 
but which his appointment to the presidency of his Church 
gives him a right to perform. And that it is not necessary to 
suppose, that imposition of hands in the consecration neces- 
sarily implies the impression of any new character, or the 
donation of a higher ministerial grade, is evident from the 
case of Paul and IJarnabas, when certain prophets and teachers 
of Antioch, by the direction of the Holy Ghost, " laid their 
hands on them," as a mode of appointment to the office of 
fulfilling a particular mission, but not surely as giving them 
any ministerial character or capacity which they did not pos- 
sess before.^ And if bishops had been so completely a dif- 
ferent Order from presbyters as some would have us suppose, 
surely the name given to them would not have been one which 
had before been given to mere presbyters. 

Hence, a bishop has not improperly been called presbyter 
cum additamento superioritatis quoad regimen ecclesia, a presbyter 
with an addition of superiority with regard to the government 
of the Church. 

The question, therefore, is, whether, when the ministerial 
character has been derived from the Apostles, this addition of 
superiority with respect to the government of a Church may 
not be conferred by the consessus ordinis of that Church. 

Granting, then, or rather maintaining, the superiority of the 
episcopal office in several respects, and that the episcopal office 
is an apostolical ordinance, and that the bishops of the Churches 
are the successors of the Apostles in the highest parts of the 
ordinary ecclesiastical functions of the Apostles, that is. Ordi- 
nation, and supervision of the inferior clergy and the Church/ 

' See Acts xiii. 1 — 3 ; and xiv. 26, 27. 

' " To succeed them is, after them, to have that episcopal kind of power 
which was first given to them ... In some things every presbj-ter, in some 
things only bishops, in some things neither the one nor the other, are the 
Apostles' successors .... the Apostles have now their successors upon earth, 
their true successors, if not in the largeness, surely in the kind of that episcopal 
fianction whereby they had jwwer to sit as spiritual ordinary judges, both over 
laity and over clergy, where Churches Christian were established." Hookek's 
Eccl. Pol. vii. 4. 


(though, of course, not possessing the same power,) and there- 
fore widely dissenting from the statements of Aerius, (the 
question being rather concerning the source of their superior 
power than concerning the superiority itself;) yet nevertheless, 
if we are forced to admit, (as the passages above quoted seem 
to me to oblige us to do,) that the appointment of a presbyter 
to that office by his co-presbyters, is an appointment sufficiently 
valid to give validity to his acts, or that episcopal consecration 
is not a sine qua non in the case, then we must admit, that the 
Ordei-s of a Church may be perfectly valid though there are 
no episcopally-consecrated bishops in it. And heuce,«the Lu- 
theran Churches at least, whose Superintendents are in fact 
Bishops under another name, are, clearly, in all material points 
conformable to the Apostolical model. 

And if such is the case, I suppose that few will maintaio, 
that the platform of government in the other Foreign Reformed 
Churches, though not altogether coming up to the Apostolical 
model, is sufficiently dissimilar to make their Orders and 
Ministry invalid. No doubt it may be held, even by tboae 
who deny the necessity of episcopally consecrated bishops, 
that the office of a bishop in a Church is Jure divino and abso- 
lutely binding, and so no Ordination valid but by one holding 
that office, (as probably some of the Scholastic divines to whom 
we have just alluded may have supposed,) but if the principle 
of the parity of Order in Bishops and Presbyters is admitted, 
then I think the validity (whatever we may say of the reyu- 
larity) of the Orders of a Presbyterian Church will in most 
minds follow as a natural consequence. 

And I confess that it appears to me, that this is the only 
way in which we can fully vindicate the validity of the Orders 
of those Churches. For, if by Apostolical ordinance all Or- 
dinations performed by any but bishops consecrated by epis- 
copal succession from the Apostles are invalid, then how can 
we reckon those as validly ordained who, under any circum- 
stances, are not so ordained ? If, however, the view we have 
taken of the matter be correct, then the circumstances of the 
case rendered their conduct justifiable, and their Orders valid. 


And such is the view which, in substance, was taken of the 
matter by many of our best divines, as the extracts which I 
shall give presently will show. They clearly held the doctrine, 
that bishops and presbyters are of the same Order, and there- 
fore felt no difficulty in admitting the validity of the Orders 
of the Foreign Reformed Churches. Others of our divines 
seem to have relied more upon the necessity of the case as a 
justification ; but in so doing, did in reality quite as njuch 
give up the absolute essentiality both of cpiscopally-conse- 
crated bishops, and of the episcopal form of government, to 
constitute a Church. On whatever grounds, however, they 
might place it, certain it is, that, as a body, they held the 
Orders of the Foreign Reformed Churches to be valid, and, 
therefore, were entirely opposed to the doctrine of our oppo- 
nents. This I shall now proceed to show, aye, even in the 
case of those whom our opponents have, I am sorry to say, 
according to custom, recklessly set down in their list of wit- 
nesses for their doctrine on this point. 

Mr. Keble allows, that " it is notorious," that Bishop Jewel, 
Archbishop Whitgift, Bishop Cooper, and others, to whom 
the management of the controversy with the Puritans wa« 
intrusted during the early part of Elizabeth's reign, did not 
take the line of argument which he and his party now do. 
" It is enough," he says, " with them, to show that the 
" government by archbishops and bishops is antient and 
" allowable ; they never venture to urge its exclusive claim, or 'to 
" connect the succession with the validity of the holy sacraments ;" 
while he allows, that " it must have occurred to the learned 
writers above mentioned." And he thus tries to account for 
the conduct he attributes to them; — "One obvious reason, 
" and probably the chief one, of their silence, was the relation 
" in which they stood to the foreign protestant congregations. 
" The question had been mixed up with considerations of 
'' personal friendship." " The leading protestant divines 
" had occasionally committed themselves to statements and 
" principles which would greatly stand in their way, if ever 
" they found it requisite to assert the claims of Apostolical 


" episcopacy." " Should it be asked, how suchiBCComplished 
" divines, as Jewel and others of his class undoubtedly were, 
" coidd permit themselves, for any present benefit to the 
" Church, so to waver in so capital a point, with the full evi- 
" dence of Antiquity before their eyes, it may be replied, first 
" of all, that in some sort they wanted that full evidence with 
" which later generations have been favoured." " The works 
" of the Fathers had not yet been critically sifted, so that in 
" regard of almost every one of them, men were more or less 
" embarrassed, during the whole of that age, with vague 
" suspicions of interpolation." " Further, it is obvious that 
" those divines in particulai who had been instrumental but a 
" little before in the second change of the Liturgy in King 
" Edward's time, must have felt themselves in some measure 
" restrained from pressing with its entire force the eccle- 
" siastical tradition on church-government and Orders, inas- 
" much as in the aforesaid revision they had ffiven up altogether 
" the same tradition regarding certain very material points in 
" the celebration, if not in the doctrine, of the Holy Eucharist;" 
and he thinks " an indefinite fear of interpolation in the early 
Liturgies" may have told in justifying to their minds the 
omissions in question. But, " it should seem that those who 
" were responsible for those omissions must have felt them- 
" selves precluded ever after from urging the necessity of episco- 
" pacy, or of anything else, on the ground of uniform Church 
" Tradition*' " To all these causes of hesitation, we must add 
" the direct influence of the Court." ^ 

Such is the account which Mr. Keble gives of the views and 
conduct of our Reformers. I leave it with the reader, as it 
would be equally painful as it is unnecessary to dissect it. The 
simple question is, Did these learned divines hold the Orders 
of the Foreign Reformed Churches to be essentially invalid, or 
did they not ? The reader has seen the straits to which our 
opponents are reduced, to account for their language on the 
subject ; and that the utmost that is pretended respecting them 
is, that their language is a sort of negative and inconsistent 
testimony, which prevents their being adducible by either 
^ Keblb's Pref. to Hooker, pp. lii — ^Lsii. 


party in thiaaquestion, for that though they take practically 
low ground on the subject, they very possibly held theoretically 
the high ground of the Apostolical Succession. It is no doubt 
au ingenious way of eliminating negative quantities, and 
getting rid of awkward witnesses. But is it a fair one ? 
However, we shall Hnd afterwards, that authors are quoted in 
the Catena of witnesses for this doctrine who have expressly 
and in terms opposed it, and therefore we need not wonder at 
the force of prejudice displayed here. 

To accumulate extracts from the works of our Reformers, 
to show that they acknowledged the Foreign lleformed 
Churches to be true Churches, and their ministers true 
ministers of Christ, ought to be a useless labour. But the claim 
made by our opponents in behalf of their doctrine as a doc- 
trine of the Church of England, supported more or less by the 
testimony of the great body of her most distinguished divines, 
renders it necessary for me to place before the reader sufficient 
evidence to justify the view here taken of the judgment of our 
Church and her divines in the matter. To enter fully into the 
subject hardly falls within the scope of this work, and, there- 
fore, for a full discussion of it, I must refer the reader to 
another work (published since the first edition of this treatise) 
in which I have treated it at length -^ but I shall here give 
testimonies sufficient for the conviction of any impartial person. 

I will not now repeat what I have adduced in the work 
just referred to,- showing what were the views of Cranmer and 
others of our leading divines of his age on the subject, when 
first engaged in the Reformation of our Church, but proceed 
at once to the period of that more settled state of things which 
commenced on the accession of Queen Elizabeth, from which 
our Formularies, according to the revised orm which, excepting 
slight alterations, they have ever since maintained, date their 
origin. And I shall first reply to the testimonies cited by 
our opponents for the support of their views. 

Mr. Keble has intimated, that Jewel, T^Tiitgift, and Cooper, 

^ " Vindication of the Doctrine of the Church of England on the Validity of 
the Ordei-s of the Scotch and Foreign Non-episcopal Churches " — in reply to 
the Bishop of Exeter and others. 

° First tract, pp. 13—16; third tract, pp. 23—26- 


though they did not openly maintain his view of the point in 
question, may nevertheless secretly have held it. I shall, 
therefore, begin with them, and prove that not only did they 
not secretly hold it, but openly and earnestly opposed it. 

First, then, what is the testimony of Bishop Jewel ? 

On the parity of Order in bishops and presbyters, he says, 
" Is it so horrible a heresy as he [Harding] maketh it, to say, 
*' that by the Scriptures of God a bishop and a priest are all 
" one ? or knoweth he how far, and unto whom, he reacbeth 
" the name of a heretic ? Verily Chrysostom saith, ' Between 
" a bishop and a priest in a manner there is no difference.' 
" (In 1 Tim. horn. 11.) S. Hierome saith, "'The Apostle 
" plainly teacheth us, that bishops and priests be all one.* 
" (Ad. Evagr.) S. Augustine saith, * What is a bishop but 
" the first priest ; that is to say, the highest priest V (In 
" Qufest. N. et V. Test. q. 101.) So saith S. Ambrose, 
" ' There is but one consecration (ordinatio) of priest and 
" bishop ; for both of them are priests, but the bishop is the 
" first.' (In 1 Tim. c. 3.) All these and other more holy 
" Fathers, together with St. Paul the Apostle, for thus saying, 
" by M. Harding's advice, must be holden for heretics."* 

And so far as concerns the necessity of an episcopal succes- 
sion and ministry, the following passage will amply serve to 
show his views. " Therefore," he says, " we neither have bishops 
" without Church, nor Church without bishops. Neither doth 
" the Church of England this day depend of them, whom you 
" often call apostates, as if our Church were no Church without 
" them. . . . If there were not one, neither of them nor of us, 
" left alive, yet ivould not, therefore, the whole Church of Eng- 
" land flee to Lovaine. Tertullian saith, ' And we being lay- 
" men, are we not priests ? It is written, Christ hath made 
" us both a kingdom and priests unto God his Father. The 
" authority of the Church, and the honour by the Assembly 
" or Council of Order, sanctified of God, hath made a dif- 
" ference between the lay and the clergy. Where, as there is 
" no assembly of ecclesiastical Order, the priest being there alone 

» Jkwkl's Def. of Apol. Pt. ii. c. 9. div. 1. Works, ed. 1611. p. 202. See 
also R. ii. c. 3. div. 1. p. 85. 


" (without the company of other prieHts) doth both minister 
" the oblation, and also baptize,* Yea, and be there but three 
" together, and though they be laymen, yet is there a Church. 

" For every man liveth of his own faith.' Whosoever it 

" a member of Christ's body, whosoever is a child of the 
*' Church, whosoever is baptized in Christ and beareth hi» 
" name, is fully invested with this priesthood [i. e. as he 
" explains it in the context, the "inward priesthood"], and 
" therefore may justly be called a priest. And wheresoever 
** there be three such together, as Tertullian saith, yea, though 
" they be onlylaymen, yet have they a Church. . . All Christian 
" men are priests, and offer up to God the daily sacrifice, that 
" is, the sacrifice of Christ's passion." - This passage, I sus- 
pect, goes much beyond what we are here contending for. 

The next to be noticed is Archbishop Whitgift. 

On the question of the parity of Order in bishops and 
presbyters, he speaks thus : — 

" Every bishop is a priest, but every priest hath not iht 
*' name and title of a bishop, in that meaning that Jerome in this 
" place [ad Evagr.] taketh the name of a bishop. . . .Neither 
" shall you find this word episcopus commonly used but for that 
" priest that is in degree over and above the rest, notwithstanding 
" episcopus be oftentimes called presbyter, because p>resbyter is 
" the more general name"^ 

''Although Hierome confess, that by Scripture presbyter 
" and episcopus is all one (as indeed they be quoad ministe- 
" rium) yet doth he acknowledge a superiority of the bishop 

" before the minister Therefore no doubt this is Jerome's 

" mind, that a bishop in degree and dignity is above the minis- 
" ter, though he be one and the self-same with him in the 
" office of ministering the word and sacraments."* 

Secondly, as to the form of government to be followed in 

' Jewel quotes here from the corrupt reading of the early Romish editions. 
We have ^ven the true reading of this passage, p. 228,229, above; which, it will 
be observed, makes the passage still stronger in fevour of the object for which 
Jewel quoted it. 

2 Jewel's Def. of Apol. Pt. 2. c. 5. div. 1. Works, ed. 1611. p. 129, 30. 

» Whitgift's Def. of Ans. to Adm. 1574. fol. p. 383. 

* lb. p. 384, 385. 


the Church. His adversaiy Cartwright, like the great body 
of the Puritans, contended for the exclusive admissibility of 
the platform of church government he advocated ; and main- 
tained, that " matters of discipline and kind of government 
are matters necessary to salvation and of faith." And this is 
Whitgift's reply : — 

" I confess that in a Church collected together in one place, 
" and at liberty, government is necessary in the second kind of 
" necessity ; but that any one kind of government is so neces- 
" sary that without it the Church cannot be saved, or that it 
" may not be altered into some other kind thought to be more 
" expedient, I utterly deny, and the reasons that move me so 
" to do be these. The first is, because / Jind no one certain 
" and perfect kind of government prescribed and commanded in 
" the Scriptures to the Church of Christ, which no doubt should 
" have been done, if it had been a matter necessary unto 
" the salvation of the Church. Secondly, because the essential 
" notes of the Church be these only; the true preaching of the 
" ivord of God, and the right administration of the sacraments : 
" for (as Master Calvin saith in his book against the Ana- 
" baptists) * This honour is meet to be given to the word of 
" God, and to his sacraments, that wheresoever we see the 
" word of God truly preached, and God according to the 
" same truly worshipped, and the sacraments without super- 
" stition administered, there we may without all controversy 
" conclude the Church of God to be :* and a little after, — ' So 
" much we must esteem the word of God and his sacraments, 
" that wheresoever we find them to be, there we may certainly 
" know the Church of God to be, although in the common 
'' life of men many faults and errors be found.' The same is 
" the opinion of other godly and learned writers, and the judg- 
" ment of the Reformed Churches, as appeareth by their Con- 
*' fessions. So that notwithstanding government, or some kind 
" of government, may be a part of the Church, touching the 
" outward form and perfection of it, yet is it not such a part of 
" the essence and being, but that it may be the Church of 
" Christ without this or that kind of government, and there- 



" fore the kind of government of the Church is nf)t ntcemaij 
" unto salvation."^ 

" / deny that the Scriptures do. , . . set down any one certain 
"form and kind of (/overnment of the Church, to be perpetual for 
" all times, persons, and places without alteration"^ 

And 8j)caking of the platform of church-government con- 
tended for by Cartwright, he says, 

" Yet would I not have any man to think, that I condemn 
" any Churches where this government is lawfully and without 
" danger received; only I have regard to whole kingdoms, espe- 
" cially this realm, where it cannot but be dangerous."' 

In Tract 17, c. iv. he undertakes expressly to prove, — " That 
" there is no one certain kind of government in the Church 
" which must of necessity be perpetually observed."* And he 
remarks in it, — 

" It is plain, that any one certain form or kind of external 
" government perpetually to be observed, is nowhere in the 
" Saipture prescribed to the Church ; but the charge thereof 
" is left to the Christian magistrate, so that nothing be done 
" contrary to the word of God."^ 

The remaining prelate referred to by Mr. Keble is Dr. 
Thomas Cooper, Bishop, first of Lincoln, and afterwards of 
Winchester ; the leading defender of our Church against the 
Puritans of his day. In the year 1589 he published an 
" Admonition to the People of England,*' in answer to the 
attacks of the Puritan party. And thus he defends in this 
work the form of church-government established in this 
country : — " As touching the government of the Church of 
" England, now defended by the bishops, this I say. When 
" God restored the doctrine of the Gospel more sincerely and 
" more abundantly than ever before, under that good young 
" prince King Edward VI. ... by consent of all the States of 
" this land, this manner of government that now is used, was 

" by law confirmed as good and godly As for this 

" question of church-government, I mean not at this time to 

1 Whitgift's Def. of Answ, to Adm. 1574. fol. p. 81. ^ jb. p, g4. 
s lb. p. 658. < It. p. 658. * lb. p. 659. 


" stand much on it . . . Only this I desire, That they will lay 
" down out of the word of God some Just proofs, and a direct 
" commandment, that t/iere should be in all ayes and states oj 
" the Church of Christ, one only form of outward government "^ 
So that, far from maintaining the necessity of the Episcopal 

orm of church-governraent, he, on the contrary, challenges 
his opponents to prove that any particular form of church- 
government is necessary. And he adds, — " Surely as grave 
" learned men as most that have written in this time .... do 
" make good proof of this proposition, Tfiat one form oj 
" church-governm£nt is not necessary in all times and places 
" of the Church, and that their Senate or Segniorie is not con- 
" venient under a Christian magistrate." And after pointing 
out the different forms of church-government that prevailed ia 
the Foreign Non-Episcopal Churches, he says, — "All those 
" Churches in which the Gospel in these days, after great 
" darkness, was first renewed, and the learned men whom 
" God sent to instruct them, I doubt not but have been 
" directed by the Spirit of God to retain this liberty, that 
" in external government and other outward orders, they 
" might choose such as they thought in wisdom and godliness 
" to be most convenient for the state of their country and 
" disposition of the people. Why then should this liberty that 
" other countries have used, under any colour be wrested from 
" us ?" (lb. p. 66.) " The reason that moveth us not to like of 
" this platform of government is, that when we on the one part 
" consider the things that are required to be redressed, and 
" on the other the state of our country, people, and common- 
" weal, we see evidently, that to plant those things in this 
" Church will draw with it so many and so great alterations 
" of the state of government and of the laws, as the attempt- 
" ing thereof might bring rather the overthrow of the Gospel 
" among us, than the end that is desired." (lb. p. 67.) 

The character of these testimonies it is needless to point out. 
Nay further, let us proceed to those who are more particu- 
larly claimed by our opponents as witnessing in their favour. 

» Coopee's Admon. to the People of Engl, (repr.) Lond. 1847. pp. 61—63. 

T 2 


Let lis take first the testimony of Hadrian Saravia; of 
whom Mr. Keblc writes thus : — " Saravia is a distinct and 
" independent testimony to the doctrine of exclusive [the 
"italics are mine] divine right in bishops. ... And since 
" Saravia was afterwards in familiar intercourse with IIw>ker, 
" and his confidential adviser when writing on nearly the same 
" subjects, we may with reason use the recorded opinions of 
" the one for interpreting what might seem otherwise ambi- 
" guous in the other." (Pref. to Hooker, p. Ixvii.) 

Now certainly Hadrian Saravia took very high ground in 
his defence of Episcopacy, maintaining that the Episcopal 
authority was of Divine institution and Apostolical tradition, 
and was taught as well by the word of God as the universal 
consent of all Churches ;^ yet in the same work he speaks 
thus : — " In our fathers* memory Luther, Bucer, Qicolam- 
" padius, and others, had no other calling than that which 
" they had received in the Church of Rome ; and when it 
" happened to them to be called before Csesar, no question 
" respecting their calling could ever be justly raised ; and if 
" it had been, they had an answer ready more fit in my judg- 
" ment than that which was made at the Conference at Poissy 
" . . . . For although all who had assembled there before the 
" king had not the same kind of Ordination, and some were 
" ordained by bishops of the Church of Rome, others by the 
" Reformed Churches, none of them ought to have been ashamed 
" of his Ordination. They might, so far as I can see, without 
" any danger, have professed that they had been ordained and 
" called, some by bishops of the Church of Rome, others by 
" orthodox presbyters, in the order received in the Churches of 
" Christ, after an examination of their morals and doctrine, 
" and with the authority of the magistrate and consent of the 
" people, with the imposition of hands and prayer. Although 
" 1 am of opinion that Ordinations of ministers of the Church 

* " Episcopalem authoritatem Divinse institutionis et Apostolicae traditionis 
esse defendo, et id tam Verbo Dei quam universali omnium Ecclesiarum con- 
sensu doceri." Defeas. Tract, de divers, ilinistr. Ev, gradibus ; In Epist. de- 
dicat.— Op. 1611. 


" properly belong to bishops, yet necessity causes, that when 
" they are wanting and cannot be had, orthodox presbyters can, 
" in case of necessity , ordain a presbyter ; which thing, although 
"it is not in accordance with the order received from the 
" times of the Apostles, yet is excused by the necessity of the 
" case, which causes that in such a state of things a presbyter 
" may be a bishop. Moreover, although the act is out of the 
" usual order, the calling is not to be considered extraordi- 
" nary." [And then, having remarked that no one ought to 
receive Orders from a heretical bishop, and that the Romish 
bishops were all heretics, he adds :] " This also is true, that 
" in such a state of confusion in the Church, when all the 
•' bishops fall away from the true worship of God unto idolatry, 
" without any violation of the government of the Church, the 
" whole authority of the Episcopal ecclesiastical government 
" is devolved upon the pious and orthodox presbyters, so that 
" a presbyter clearly may ordain presbyters .... There is one 
" God, one Lord Jesus Christ, one Church, one Baptism, one 
" Ministry. The difference there is between presbyters and 
" pastors of the Church of Christ consists in the autho- 
" rity of Ecclesiastical government. And this is not violated, 
" when, the higher orders being in any way removed, those 
" who are of the lowest grade alone remain, with whom, con- 
" sequently, the whole power of the keys of the Church then 
" resides. . . . But where all the bishops are become impious 
" heretics^ the orthodox presbyters are freed from their juris- 
" diction, and ou(/ht to vindicate to themselves the power of 
" the keys which they have received in their Ordination, . . . 
" I certainly know not by what necessity Master Beza should 
" have been compelled to resort to an extraordinary calling. 
" For I do not think that either he, or Nicholas Galasius, or any 
" other that may have been then present, not ordained by Romish 
" bishops, took upon themselves the ministry of the Word without 
" a legitimate calling received in the Churches of Christ." ^ 
Nor did he hold, that the Foreign Non-Episcopal Churches 

* Sarav. Defens. Tract, de divers. Ministr. Ev. gradibus, 4c., ch. iL pp. 32. 33. 
I translate from the Latin in his Works, published in 1611. 


were bound to seek Ej)isco|)ncy from some Reformed Episcopal 
Church, for lie says, — " If they call in the aid of our men, and 
" wish to use their advice, they can ; but if they do not, they 
" ought not to arrogate to themselves any authority over them 
*' and their churches, but to rejoice, and congratulate them 
" upon their conversion, and offer them communion [offerre 
" sucietatem)." ' 

So that here again we have a direct testimony in favour of 
the validity of the Ordinations of the Foreign Non-Kpiscopal 

Next let us take some of those that are quoted by out oppo- 
nents, in their " Catena" on this subject,- as express witnesses 
in favour of their doctrine. 

First, Hooker. Tlic quotation given in the " Catena" is, 
as is not unusual in these " Catenas," one which is utterly 
insuflBcient to show Hooker's opinion on the point in question, 
one way or the other ; and elsewhere he speaks thus : " Now 
" whereas hereupon some do infer, that no Ordination can 
" stand, but only such as is made by bishops which have had 
" their Ordination likewise by other bishops before them, till 
" we come to the very Apostles of Christ themselves ; in which 
" respect it was demanded ofBeza at Poissie, ' By what autho- 
*' rity he could administer the Holy Sacraments,' &c. [the 
" reader will observe the instance cited] .... to this we answer, 
" that there may be sometimes very just and suflBcicnt reason 
" to allow Ordination made without a bishop. The whole 
" Church visible being the true original subject of all power, 
" it hath not ordinarily allowed any other than bishops alone 
" to ordain; howbeit, as the ordinary course is ordinarily in 
" all things to be observed, so it may be, in some cases, not 
" unnecessary that we decline from the ordinary ways. Men 
" may be extraordinarily, yet allowably, two ways admitted 
" unto spiritual functions in the Church. One is, when God 
*' himself doth of himself raise up any. . . . Another . . when 
" the exigence of necessity doth constrain to leave the usual 
" ways of the Church, which otherwise we would willingly 
» lb. p. 18. 2 See Tract 74. 


" keep/' ^ And, in a former passage of the same book, he 
distinctly admits the power of the Church at large to take 
away the episcopal form of government from the Church, and 
says, " Let them [i. e. bishops] continxially bear in mind, that it 
" is rather the force of custom, whereby the Church, having to 
" long found it good to continue under the regiment of her virtuout 
" bishops, doth still uphold, maintain, and honour them in that 
" respect, than that any such true and heavenly law can be showed, 
" by the evidence whereof it may of a truth appear, that the Lord 
^' himself hath appointed presbyters for ever to be under the regi- 
" ment of bishops," adding that " their authority" is " a sword 
which the Church hath power to take from them."^ And 
therefore, though he admits the office and superiority of 
bishops to be of Apostolical institution, and takes higher 
ground on the subject than most of his contemporaries, yet 
all that he undertakes to prove on the subject is, that such 
superiority is " a thing allowable, lawful, and good" * 

This, I confess, appears to me rather low ground to take ; 
but certainly it shows the complete contrariety of Hooker's 
views to those of our opponents. "What is Mr. Keble's ex- 
planation in his Preface to Hooker? That Hooker "shrunk 
"from the legitimate result of his own premises ;" " he did not 
"feel at liberty to press unreservedly, and develope, in all its 
" consequences, that part of the argument which they [i. e. 
" Laud and others] regarded as the most vital and decisive : 
" THE NECESSITY, namely, of the Apostolical commission to the 
" derivation of sacramental grace and to our mystical communion 
" with Christ."* Such is the treatment awarded to one of our 
most learned and judicious divines. To offer any defence of 
Hooker against such charges, would be a waste of words in- 
deed. But there is one question which I would seriously ask of the 
author of the " Catena," namely, How he can reconcile it with fair 
dealing, when it is notorious, and confessed by his own party, that 

' Hookeb's Eccl. Pol. vii. Ik See also Hi. 11. 
^ Eccl. Pol. vii. 5. See als<j i. 14, and iii. 10. 
» Eccl. Pol. vii. 3. 
* KsBLS's Pref. to Hooker, p. Ixxvii. 


Hooker didnot follow out " his own jtremises " {to use their phrase) 
so as to maintnin their doctririe, but erpressly repudiates it, to 
select a passage so worded as to lead a cursory reader to think 
that Hooker held it, and put it as a proof of Huohr's advocacy of 
their doctrine in their " Catena ** of witnesses for it ? In wlmt 
position does such a fact leave their boasted " Catenas V* 
This is one of the most painful parts of the whole subject, and 
one on which it is impossible not to feel strongly ; because the 
cause that, beyond all others^ has tended to produce the 
partial and temporary success our opponents have gained, is 
the supposition derived from their " Catenas," that they arc 
only enforcing the doctrines which almost all our great divines 
have held before them. 

Another divine quoted in the " Catena," is Archbishop 
Bancroft, and on the same ground I suppose as lIo<jker, 
namely, that he held the episcopate to be an Apostolical insti- 
tution. But they will find equally as in the last case, that 
neither did Archbishop Bancroft follow out " his own pre- 
mises." For the Archbishop of St. Andrew's, in his History 
of Scotland, tells us, " that when the Scots bishops were to be 
" consecrated by the bishops of London, Ely, and Bath, here 
" at London house, anno 1609, a question was moved by Dr. 
" Andrews, bishop of Ely, touching the consecration of the 
" Scottish bishops, who, as he said, * must first be ordained pres- 
** byters, as having received no Ordination from a bishop.' The 
** Archbishop of Canterbury', Dr. Bancroft, who was by, main- 
** tained, ' that thereof there was no necessity, seeing where 
" bishops couJd not be had, the Ordination given by the presbyters 
" rnu^t be esteemed lawful, otherwise that it might be doubted, 
" if there were any lawful vocation in most of the Reformed 
" Churches.' This applauded to by the other bishops, Ely 
" acquiesced."^ And this testimony is the more remarkable 
from Dr. Bancroft, as, in his famous Sermon at Paul's Cross, 
he was considered to have taken rather high ground as to 
the claims of episcopacy. 

1 Spotswood's Hist, of Church and State of Scotland. 4th ed. 1677. fol. 
p. 5li. 


• Another of our opponents* witnesses in their " Catena " is 
Archdeacon Francis Mason. An extract is given from his cele- 
brated "Vindiciae." Now will it be believed, that the same author, 
in a tract published in 1641, after his death, consisting of some 
papers originally intended by him to form part of the very work 
quoted in the " Catena,*' expressly defends " the validity of the 
" Ordination of the ministers of the Reformed Churches beyond the 
" seas." The publication of these papers in this way has caused 
some (especially Mason's translator, Lindsay,) to cast a suspi- 
cion upon the genuineness of the tract ; but not only is it spoken 
of as his by his contemj)orary Dr. Bernard, Usher's chaplain, 
(Judgment of the late Archbishop of Armagh, 165 7, p. 133,) 
and first appeared in a Collection of Tracts of which Usher 
was partly the author, but in a letter of Dr. Ward (then 
Master of Sidney College, Cambridge) to Usher, written shortly 
after the publication of the first edition of Mason's work in 
1613, we find the following passages: "I pray you inform 
" me, what the specialties are which are omitted in Mr. Ma- 
" son's book. I would only know the heads.'* And again 
returning to the subject at the close of the letter, he says, — 
" I had no leisure when I was with you to inquire how Mr. 
" Mason doth warrant the vocation and Ordination of the 
" ministers of the Reformed Churches in Foreign parts.'* 
— (Parr's Life and Letters of Usher, 1686. fol. p. 31.) 
Now in this tract Mason says, — 

The Bishop, " in his consecration, receiveth a sacred 
" office, an eminency, a jurisdiction, a dignity, a degree 
" of ecclesiastical pre-eminence." " He hath no higher 
" degree in respect of intention or extension of the character ; 
*' but he hath a higher degree, that is, a more excellent place, 
" in respect of authority and jurisdiction in spiritual regiment. 
" Wherefore, seeing a presbyter is equal to a bishop in the power 
" of Order, he hath equally intrinsical power to give Orders." 
(pp. 160, 161.) AVhereby he means, 1 conceive, that a pres- 
byter, having received the full ministerial character, is intrin- 
sically capable of passing that character to others, when an 
office or jurisdiction is given him by the Church by which such 

JIS2 rnr, christian religion 

power may nj^ulurly and canonically be exercised. The 
speaker for the Romanists, making the precise objection of our 
opponents, o^jserves, — " the pre-eminence of bishops injure 
divino" To which Orthodox anRwern thus, — " First, if you 
" mean hy jure divino that which is according to the Scripture, 
*' then the pre-eminence of bishops is jure divino : for it liath 
" been already proved to be according to the Scripture. 
" Secondly, if by jure divino you mean the ordinance of God, 
" in this sense also it may be said to he jure divino. For it is 
" an ordinance of the Apostles, whcrcunto they were directed 
" by God's Spirit, even by the spirit of prophecy, and conse- 
" quently the ordinance of God. But if by jure divino you 
" understand a law and commandment of God, binding all 
*' Christian Churches, universally, perpetually, unchangeably, 
" and with such absolute necessity that no other form of 
" regiment may in any case be admitted ; in this sense 
" neither may we grant it, nor yet can you prove it, to be 
"jure divino." " The Apostles in their lifetime ordained 
" many bishops, and left a fair pattern to posterity. The 
" Church, following the commodiousness thereof, embraced it 
" in all ages through the Christian world." (p. 163.) This 
passage may, I hope, disabuse the minds of our opponents of 
the notion, that every body who held the pre-eminence of 
bishops to he jure divine, or by Apostolical institution, is to be 
immediately put down as a supporter of their doctrine, and 
charged with forsaking the legitimate consequences of " his 
own premises," if he does not hold that doctrine, and may teach 
them to be a little more circumspect, and I may add, fair, in 
the getting up of their " Catenas." 

The Archdeacon then proceeds to defend the validity of the 
Ordinations in the Foreign Reformed Churches, first on the 
ground of necessity ; to which the defender of the Church of 
Rome, after some discussion, ultimately replies, — " Suppose 
" that Ordination might be devolved to Presbyters in case of 
" necessity, yet the necessity ceasing, such extraordinary 
" courses should likewise cease. ^Tiy then, do they continue 
" their fonner practice ? Why do they not now seek to receive 


" their Orders from Protestant bishops ? " To which Orthodox 
replies thus : — " The Churches of Germany need not to seek to 
"foreign bishops, because they have superintendents or bishops 
" among themselves. And as for other places which embrace the 
" discipline of Geneva, they also have bishops in effect ; for, two 
" things of all other are most proper to bishops; (1) singu- 
" larity in succeeding, because, though there be many pres- 
" byters in a Church, yet, above the rest, there is one star, 
" one angel, of whose unity depends the unity of the Church ; 
" and therefore, when he dieth, another must succeed in the 
" like singularity. (2) Superiority in ordaining, because ever 
" since the Apostles' times, these stars and angels have been in- 
" vested with the power of Ordination, which they might per- 
" form without presbyters, but presbyters might not regularly 
" perform without them. Now, in these Reformed Churches, 
" the president of each Presbytery is their star or angel, indued 
" with both properties. Concerning the first, Beza saith, 
" ' Essentiale fuit,^ &c. * This was essential in the matter we 
" have in hand, that by God's perpetual ordinance it hath been, 
" is, and shall be, needful, that some one in the presbytery, 
" which is first both in place and dignity, should have the 
" pre-eminence in ruling of every action with that right 
" which is given him from God.' (Beza de div. gradib. 
" minist. coutr. Sarav. c. 23. § 25.) Therefore, concerning 
*' the second, whereas the presbytery cousisteth partly of 
" ministers, partly of laymen, their lay-presbyters are wholly 
" excluded from Ordination. For Calvin (in 2 Tim. i. 6, and 
" Instit. lib. 4. c. 3. § 16,) teacheth, that in the Apostolic 
" times, only pastors imposed hands, neither is it lawful for 
" every pastor in the presbytery to execute this oflice ; but it 
" is reserved to him who is first both in place and dignity, 
" having pre-eminence in every action, and consequently in 
" Ordination. Wherefore, though that he do it not by his sole 
" authority, but with common consent, neither hath the name 
" of a bishop or such ample titles annexed as godly princes 
" have thought fit for the honor of the place, (because these 
" things are not suitable with popular estates delighting in 
" equality,) yet he hath the substance of the office itself; which 

281 TiiK ninisTiAN reliqion 

" he cxercisctli not in one only particular parish, but in the 
" city, suburbs, and the territories thereof, containing sundry 
" parishes, as for example, at Geneva, xxiv or thereabout. 
" Wherefore, seeing a bishop and a presbyter do rwt differ in 
" Order, but only in pre-eminence and jurisdiction, as your- 
" selves acknowledge, and seeing Calvin and Beza had the 
" Order of priesthood, which is the highest Order in the Church 
" of God, and were lawfully chosen, the one after the other, to 
" a place of eminency, and indued with jurisdiction derived 
" unto them from the whole Church wherein they lived — you 
" cannot with reason deny them the substance of the episcopal 
" office. And whereinsoever their discipline is defective, we 
" wish them, even in the bowels of Christ Jesus, by all pos- 
" siblc means, to redress and reform it, and to conform them- 
" selves to the antient custom of the Church of Christ, which 
" hath continued from the Apostles' time, that so they may 
" remove all opinion of singularity, and stop the mouth of 
" malice itself. Thus much concerning the ministers of other 
" Reformed Churches, wherein, if you will not believe us dis- 
" puting for the lawfulness of their calling, yet you must give 
" us leave to believe God himself from heaven approving their 
'' ministi-y by pouring down a blessing upon their labours. 
" Bless them still, O Lord, and bless us, and make all our 
" ministry faithful, fruitful, and effectual, to the comfort of 
" our own consciences, the advancing of thy kingdom, the 
" joy of thy little flock, and to the recalling of those lost 
" sheep which as yet wander in the wilderness of the Church 
" of Rome, or elsewhere, that so it may be powerful by thy 
" Spirit to the salvation of many thousand souls." (pp. 
173 — 6.) To which prayer I most heartily respond, amen, 
and humbly pray that it may please God to impart more of 
the spirit breathed in these lines to his whole Church. 

Another witness quoted by our opponents in their " Catena '* 
is Bishop Hall. And thus he speaks on the subject : — " The 
" imputation pretended to be cast by this tenet [the Divine 
" right of Episcopacy] upon all the Reformed Churches which 
" want this government, I endeavoured so to satisfy, that I 
" might justly decline the envy which is intended to be 


" thereby raised against us : for which cause, I profussed that 
" we do 'love and honour those our sister-Churches, as the 
" dear Spouse of Christ;' and give zealous testimonies of my 
" well-wishing to them. Your uncharitableness offers to 
" choke me with those scandalous censures and dis(jraceful 
" terms which some of ours have let fall upon those Churches, 
" and their eminent professors : which, I confess, it is more 
" easy to be sorry for, than, on some hands, to excuse. The 
" error of a few may not be imputed to all. My just defence 
" is, that no such consequent can be drawn from our opinion : 
" forasmuch as the Divine or Apostolical right, which we 
" hold, goes not so high as if there were an express command, 
" that, upon an absolute necessity, there must be either Epis- 
'* eopacy or no Church ; but so far only, that it both may 
" and ought to be. How fain would you here find me in 
" a contradiction ! fT/iile /, onewhere, reckon Episcopacy 
" amongst matters essential to the Church ; anotherwhere, deny 
" it to be of the essence thereof! Wherein you willinyly hide 
" your eyes, that you may not see the distinction that I make 
" expressly betwixt the Being and the Well-being of a Church : 
" affirming, that * those Churches, to whom this power and 
" faculty is denied, lose nothing of the true essence of a Church, 
" though they miss something of their glory and perfection.* 
" Ay, Brethren, it is enough for some of your friends, to hold 
" their Discipline altogether essential to the very being of a 
" Church : we dare not be so zealous,"^ 

We here see, that he throws back upon the Puritans the 
exclusive doctrine of the indispensability of one particular 
form of church-government, and disowns it ; and also, that 
his general testimony to Episcopacy had been misunderstood 
and misrepresented, as if he had intended to deny the Foreign 
Non-Episcopal Churches to be true Churches : a fact which 
may show, how easy it is to parade a Catena of testimonies 
from our divines appearing to the cursory reader to maintain 
the exclusive doctrine, while nevertheless the authors of those 
testimonies meant nothing of the kind. 

' Bp. Hall's Def. of Humble Remonstrance. § 14. Wks. vol. ix. p. 690. 
And see his " Peacemaker," § 6. Wks. vol. viii. p. 56. 


To go thronj^h our opponents' wliole Catena in, of cournc, 
impossible in this place; but I will venture to affirm, that it 
would be easy to show, as to three-fourths at least of the 
authors there cited, that they are equally opposed to our 
opponents' views as the four we have just noticed. And, 
indeed, if the reader will take the trouble of investigating the 
extracts they themselves have given, he will find very few that 
at all bear upon the disputed points. I am sorry to say, how- 
ever, that this seems to be the plan commonly adopted by the 
Tractators. Under a phrase which may be interpreted in various 
ways, they lay down a certain doctrine, and then quote as sup- 
porters of their views, all those who have defended any doctrine 
that has been called by the same name. 

The ground taken by our early divines, as shown by the 
testimonies above given, was, that the Episcopal form of 
church-government is the best and the most scriptural, and 
comes recommended to us by the practice of the Church even 
from the times of the Apostles, but has not been authorita- 
tively laid down by Christ or his Apostles as of indispensable 
obligation, and therefore is not binding upon all Churches. 

They did not oppose the early Nonconformists, on the 
ground of the absolute necessity of the Episcopal form of 
church-government, still less of a succession of bishops con- 
secrated by bishops, to constitute a Church. They left such 
notions to the Romanists. But they found fault with them, 
as throwing a well-constituted Church into confusion and 
disorder, as causing needless schisms and divisions, and as 
sinfully disobeying the ordinances of the Supreme Power in 
the State, which had established a Christian Church agreeable 
to Holy Scripture and Apostolic practice. The high-flown 
claims of our Tractarian High Churchmen to the exclxisive 
admissibility of one system of church-government, were the 
weapons, not of the divines of our Church, but of their oppo- 
nents the Nonconformists. The Genevan platform of church- 
government, was with the Puritans that which alone was 
conformable to the word of God. Every other, but especially 
the Prelatical, was to be eschewed as an abomination. And, 


as to the power of the civil ruler in religious matters, they 
spoke of it — much as the Tractarians now speak of it ; except 
that under Elizabeth they muttered in the dark what under 
Victoria is proclaimed in the market-place.^ Thus it is that 
extremes meet. 

But, Mr. Keble says, " The 23rd Article affirms the prin- 
ciple of the Succession." " The Article virtually enforces 
succession as the test of a lawful ministry."' Now, as it 
respects our own Church, there is no dispute, that, according 
to its present regulations, those Orders only can qualify a man 
for service in its ministry that are derived from the Episcopal 
Succession. But certainly the 23rd Article does not lay down 
any such " test of a lawful ministry," either for other Churches 
or our own, as Mr. Keble here attributes to it. In fact he 
has himself admitted, that our early Reformers, by whom the 
Article was drawn up, never avowed such doctrine, and he has 
blamed them for shrinking from such an avowal ; so that his 
application of the Article seems clearly an oversight. Hooker's 
instance of valid Non-episcopal Orders is that of Beza ; precisely 
the sort of case Mr. Keble has instanced as one of inra/iW Orders.* 

We may appeal with confidence to the Formularies of our 
Church, even as they now stand after the alteration made in 
the Preface to the Ordination Service in 1662, as showing 
that it does not in any way impeach the validity of the Orders 
of Non-Episcopal Churches. 

Thus, in the Article of our Church on the subject of the 
ministry, we find it carefully worded so as not to limit a law- 
ful ministry to those that have Episcopal Ordination. 

' Hence we may remark, by the way, that when we are considering the 
events of that periotl, and the apparent (and to some extent real) absence of 
those principles of toleration now so happily establislied among us, it must not 
be forgotten, that the object of the early Noncoufonuists was, not tlie mere 
toleration of their ow^l system, but the utter subversion of the system of church - 
government then e<stablishod by the consent of the sovereign, the clergj', and the 
people, and the substitution of their o%vn in its stead. Tliis was notoriously 
and confessedly their aim ; and this it was which iuftised so much wrath and 
bitterness into the controversies of the period, and was no doubt the reason of 
much of the persecution to which they were subjected. 

' Senn. pp. 97, 98. » Serm. p. 98. 


" It is not lawful (says the Article) for any man to take 
" upon him the office of public preaching or ministering the 
" sacraments in the congregation, before he be lawfully called 
" and sent to execute the same. And those we ought to judge 
" lawfully called and sent, which be chosen and called to thin 
" work by men who have public authority given unto them, in 
" the cunyreyatiun, to call and send ministers into the Lord's 
" vineyard.'' (Art. 23.) 

It should seem hardly possible for one acquainted with the 
circumstances of those times to read this Article and not see, 
that it is carefully worded, so as not to exclude the ministry 
of the Foreign Non-Episcopal Churches. In fact the Article 
requires nothing more as necessary for lawful calling, than 
what is required in the Confessions of several of those very 
Non-Episcopal Churches themselves, as, for instance, the Hel- 
vetic, (Art. 16.) Bohemian, (c. 9.) and Belgic. (Art. 31.) 

But a more authentic interpretation of this Article can 
hardly be conceived than that given by Thomas Rogers, chap- 
lain to Archbishop Bancroft, in his " Exposition of the Ar- 
ticles,*' published in 1607, as "perused and by the lawful 
authority of the Church of England allowed to be public,'* 
and which the Archbishop ordered all the parishes in his pro- 
vince to supply themselves with. He deduces from the Ar- 
ticle the six following propositions : — 

" 1. None publicly may preach, but such as thereunto 
" are authorized. 2. They must not be silent who by office 
" are bound to preach. 3. The sacraments may not be ad- 
" ministered in the congregation but by a lawful minister. 
" 4. There is a lawful ministry in the Church. 5. They are 
" lawful ministers which be ordained by men lawfully ap- 
" pointed to the calling and sending forth of ministers. 
" 6. Before ministers are to be ordained, they are to be chosen 
" and called." 

And then proceeding to point out the testimonies we have 
in favour of the truth of these propositions, he observes upon 
each, as he comes to it, that the Foreign Reformed Churches 
maintain it. On the first he says, — "All this is acknowledged by 


the Reformed Churches ;'' referring to the Helvetic, Bohemic, 
French, and other Confessions. On the second, — " Hereunto 
" bear witness all the Churches of God which be purged 
" from superstition and errors ;" referring to the same Con- 
fessions. On the third, — " Hereunto do the Churches of God 
subscribe ; " referring to the same Confessions. On the 
fourth, — *'A truth also approved by the Churches ;" refer- 
ring to the same Confessions. On the fifth, — " So testify 
with us the true Churches elsewhere in the world ;" refer- 
ring to the same Confessions. On the sixth, — " And this 
do the Churches Protestant by their Confessions approve ;" 
referring to the same Confessions.^ 

And this is not only a testimony as to the meaning of the 
Article, but as to the light in which the Foreign Non-Episco- 
pal Churches were then regarded by the authorities of our 
Church, even by so high a Churchman (to use the common 
phrase) as Archbishop Bancroft. 

Proceeding to a later period, we find Bishop Burnet thus 
commenting on this Article : — " If a company of Christians 
' find the public worship where they live to be so defiled that 
' they cannot with a good conscience join in it, and if they 
' do not know of any place to which they can conveniently 
' go, where they may worship God purely and in a regular 
* way; if, I say, such a body, finding some that have been 
' ordained, though to the lower functions, should submit itself 
' entirely to their conduct, or finding none of those, should 
' by a common consent desire some of their own number to 
' minister to them in holy things, and should upon that 
' beginning grow up to a regulated constitution, though we 
' are very sure that this is quite out of all rule, and could not 
' be done without a very great sin, unless the necessity were 
' great and apparent ; yet if the necessity is real and not 
' feigned, this is not condemned or annulled by the Article ; 

> " Tlie Faith, Doctrine, and Religion, &c. expressed in 39 Articles, kc. ; the 
said Articles analyzed into projx)sitions, and the propositions proved to be agree- 
able both to the written word of God mid to the extant Confetsiont of all the 
neighbour Churches Chriatianly reformed." 1607. 4to. 


" for when this grows to a constitution, and when it wa« begun 
" by the consent of a Body, who are supposed to have an 
" authority in such an extraordinary case, whatever tome hotter 
" spirits have thought of this since that time, yet wc are very 
" sure, that not oidy those w/io penned the Articles, but the Body 
** of this Church for above half an aye after, did, not wit listandiny 
" those VTcyularities, acknowledye the Foreiyn Churches, to 
" constituted, to be true Churches as to all the essentials of a 
'* Church, thouyh they luid been at first irreyularly formed, and 
" continued still to be in an imperfect state. And therefore the 
" general words in which this part of the Article is framed, seem 
" to have been designed on purpose not to exclude them." ^ 

And Professor Iley justly remarks, that the expression, 
** who liave public authority given unto them in the congre- 
gation," " seems to leave the manner of giving the power of 
" ordaining quite free : it seems as if any religious society 
" might, consistently with this Article, appoint officers, with 
" power of Ordination, by election, representation, or lot ; as 
" if, therefore, the right to Ordain did not depend upon any 
" uninterrupted succession." ^ 

The same view is taken of the meaning of this Article by 
Bishop Tomline, ordinarily considered a sufficiently high 

It is quite clear, that the words of the Article do not main- 
tain the necessity of Episcopal Ordination ; and consequently, 
as the object of the Article is to shew the doctrine of the 
Church of England on the subject, it cannot be said that the 
Church of England maintains it. No one, therefore, has a 
right to put forth such a doctrine as the doctrine of the 
Church of England. 

This is the only place in which our Church touches the 
question of Ordination in the abstract ; and we see that it is 
carefully worded, so as to be consistent with the constitution 
of the Foreign Reformed Churches. 

As it respects the Preface to the Ordination-Service, the 
remark there made as to the three Orders of the Ministry 

1 Bttenet'3 Exposition of the XXXIX Articles. 5th. ed. 1746. 

2 Key's Lectures in Di\'inity. 2nd ed. 1822. vol. iv. p. 166. 
^ ToMLiXE'3 Expos, of Art. ed. 1799. p. 376. 


having existed from the times of the Apostles, is simply the 
statement of a fact, which does not touch the question of the 
validity of the Orders of the Foreign Non-Episcopal Churches. 
The defence of their case rests upon the peculiar circumstances 
in which they are placed. And the recognition even of the 
necessity of Episcopal Ordination for ministering in the Church 
of England was not added till the review after the Restoration ; 
so that, as we shall see presently, those who had only Presby- 
terian Ordination, had previously been allowed to minister in 
our Church. But this irregularity was very properly put an 
end to at the Restoration, both by the Preface to the Ordina> 
tion-Service, and also by the Act of Uniformity. (13, 14, 
Car. II. c. 4.)i 

But still further ; by the 55th Canon of 1601, all our clergy 
ai'e required, in the bidding prayer before, or rather in the 
commencement of, the sermon, to pray for " the Church of 
Scotland." Now the Church of Scotland, at the time this 
Canon was passed, was Presbyterian, as it now is. And, 
consequently, the very men who are now protesting against 
the recognition of any Ordinations as valid but Episcopal, and 
contending that it is the doctrine of our Church that there ia 
no such thing as a valid ministry but through an apostolically 
descended episcopate, are, by Canon, bound solemnly to recog- 
nise in their prayers every Sunday the existence of a valid 
ministry without any such Ordination. For, a prayer for the 
Presbyterian " Chui'ch of Scotland'* clearly involves such a 

And what is, perhaps, still stronger evidence on the subject, 
the practice of our Church for many years after the Reforma- 
tion entirely refutes the notion, that she holds the Ordinations 
of all Non-Episcopal Churches to be invalid; for, until the 
period of the Restoration, ministers of the Scotch and Foreign 

* The original arrangement of the Ser\nces for the Ordination of presbyter* 
and the consecration of bishops in our Onluial, may be viewed as a still further 
indication of the mind of our Reformers ; and the changes made in them in 
1662 do not take away this argument, but only show^ the tendencies of those 
who revised them. But this argument it is not necessary to dilate upon in to 
clear a case. 



Reformed Churches were admitted to the cure of souU m our 
Church vnthout any fresh (Jrdination. 

In 1582 (April G) a licence was granted by the Vicar-General 
of the Archbishop of Canterbury (Grindal) to a minister of 
the name of John Morrison, who had only Scotch Orders, in 
the following terms : — " Since you the foresaid John Morrison, 
" about five years past, in the town of Garvct in the county of 
" Lothian of the kingdom of Scotland, were admitted and 
" ordained to sacred Orders and the holy ministry, by the imposi- 
" tion of hands, according to the laudable form and rite of the 
" Reformed Church of Scotland ; and since the congregation of 
" that county of Lothian is conformable to the orthodox faith 
" and sincere religion now received in this realm of England, 
" and established by public authority : we, therefore, as much 
" as lies in us, and as by right we may, approving and ratify- 
" ing the form of your Ordination and jrreferment (pra;fectionis) 
" done in such manner aforesaid, grant to you a licence and 
" faculty, with the consent and express command of the most 
" reverend Father in Christ the Lord Edmund, by the Divine 
" providence Archbishop of Canterbury, to us signified, that 
" in such Orders by you taken you may, and have power, in any 
" convenient places in and throughout the whole province of 
" Canterbury, to celebrate divine offices, to minister the sacra- 
" ments, ^c. as much as in us lies, and we may de jure, and 
*' as far as the laws of the kingdom do allow,*' &c.^ 

Another case is that of Dr. De Laune, which is given in 
Dr. Birch's Life of Archbishop Tillotson, from a letter of 
Bishop Cosin, a witness of the case, in the following terms : — 
" Dr. De Laune, who translated the English Liturgy into 
" French, being collated to a living, and coming to the Bishop, 
" then at Norwich, with his presentation, his Lordship asked 
" him where he had his Orders. He answered, that he was 
" ordained by the Presbytery at Leyden. The Bishop upon 
" this advised him to take the opinion of counsel, whether by 
" the laws of England he was capable of a benefice without 
" being ordained by a bishop. The doctor replied, that he 
" thought his Lordship would be unwilling to reordain him, 

' Stetpe's Life of Grindal, bk. 2. c. xiii. p. 271 ; or Oxf. ed. p. 402. 


" if his counsel should say, that he was not otherwise capable 
" of the living by law. The Bishop rejoined, — * Reordination 
" we must not admit, no more than a rebaptization ; but in 
" case 7J0U find it doubtful whether you be a priest capable to 
" receive a benefice among us, or no, 1 will do the same oflSce for 
" you, if you desire it, that I should do for one who doubts of 
" his baptism, when all things belonging essentially unto it 
" have not been duly observed in the administration of it, 
" according to the rule in the Book of Common Prayer, If 
" thou beest not already, &c. Yet for mine own part, if you 


" INTO THE LIVING HOWSOEVER.' But the title, which this 
" presentation had from the patron, proving not good, there 
" were no further proceedings in it ; yet afterwards Dr. Db 


And on this point various testimonies might be added 
from unquestionable authorities; as, for instance, that of 
Bishop Cosin, confessedly (as the phrase goes) a High Church- 
man. He says, in an admirable letter on this subject, written 
from Paris, Feb. 7, 1(350, from which we shall presently give 
a large extract, — " Therefoi*e, if at any time a minister so 
" ordained in these French Churches came to incorporate 
" himself in ours, and to receive a public charge or cure of 
" souls among us in the Church of England, (as I have known 
" some of them to have so done of late, and can instance in 
" many other before my time,) our bishops did not reordain 
" him before they admitted him to his charge, as they must have 
" done, if his former Ordination here in France had been void. 
" Nor DID OUR laws require more of him than to declare 


And the same testimony is borne by Bishop Fleetwood, who 
says, that this was " certainly her practice [i. e. of our Church] 

• Bibch's Life of Archbishop Tillotson, 2nd ed 1753, pp. 170, l7l. 

' Letter to Mr. Cordel, in Basire's Account of Bishop Cosin, annexed to his 
Funeral Sermon ; and also in Bishop Fleetwood's Judgment of the Church of 
England in the case of Lay-Baptism. 2ml ed. Lond. 1712. p. 52. 


" during the reigns of King James and King Charles I. and to 
" the year IGOl . We had many ministers from Scotland, from 
" France, and the Ix)w Countries, who were ordained hy pres- 
*' byters only, and not bishops, and they were instituted into 
" benefices with cure. . . . and yet were never re- ordained, but 
" only subscribed the Articles.'' ' 

If these cases do not prove, that at least our Church has 
never disowned the validity of the Ordinations of the Scotch 
and Foreign Non-Episcopal Churches, and that her practice 
till the Restoration was to recognise their validity, nothing 
would do so. For, Dr. Cosin, who must have been well 
acquainted with the matter, (having filled important posts in 
the Church since the year 1616, and been librarian to Bishop 
Overal, and domestic chaplain to Bishop Neale,) speaks of it, 
not as a custom with some only, but as the practice of " the 
bishops" generally, and sanctioned by the law. 

The last sentence in the extract from Dr. Cosin no doubt 
refers to the Act 13 Eliz. c. 12, in which it was enacted, that 
any professing to be a priest or minister of God's word and 
sacraments, who had been ordained by any other form than 
that authorized by Edw. VI. and Queen Elizabeth, should be 
called upon to declare his assent and subscribe to the Articles 
of religion. The persons more particularly in the eye of the 
framers of the Act were probably those ordained by the 
Romish form, but the application of the clause was of course 

The same testimony is borne by Bishop Burnet, who says, — 
" Another point was fixed by the Act of Uniformity, which 
" was more at large formerly : those who came to England from 
" the Foreign Churches had not been required to be ordained 
" among us : but now all, that had not Episcopal Ordination, 
" were made incapable of holding any Ecclesiastical bene- 
" fice."2 

Nay, Mr. Keble himself confesses, that, " nearly up to the 
" time when Hooker wrote, numbers had been admitted to 
" the ministry of the Church in England, with no better than 

' Judgm. of Church of Engl, in case of Laj-Baptism, 1712. 8vo. Pt. ii. 
Works, p. 552. 

- Bxjbket's Hist, of his own Times, vol. i. p. 183. 


" Presbyterian Ordination : and it appears by Travers's Sup- 
" plication to the Council, that such was the construction not 
" uncommonly put upon the Statute of the 13th of Elizabeth, 
" permitting those who had received Orders in any other 
" form than that of the English Service Book, on giving 
" certain securities, to exercise their calling in England/' ^ 

And the only one of our early divines, of any weight, whom 
1 can find to have denied the legality of the practice, and that 
only on account of " the laws of the realm," is Archbishop 

And that the statute and not the ecclesiastical law was the 
difficulty, where any was felt, we learn from a passage in 
Bishop Hall, who expressly tells us in a work published in 
1641, — "The sticking at the admission of our brethren 
" returning from Reformed Churches, was not in case of 
" Ordination, but of Institution : they had been acknow- 
*' ledged ministers of Christ, without any other hands 
" LAID upon them ; but according to t/ie laws of our land, they 
" were not perhaps capable of Institution to a benefice, unless 
" they were so qualified as the Statutes of this realm do require. 
" And, secondly, I know those, more tlian one, that by virtue 
" only of that Ordination which they have brought with iftem 
"from other Reformed Churches, have enjoyed spiritual promO' 
" tions and livings, without any exception against the 
" lawfulness of their calling."- 

Now this practice of our Church from the Reformation to 
the Restoration, is the strongest possible proof, that at least 
there was nothing in our Church's Formularies against the 
validity of such Orders, but, on the contrary, enough in its 
favour to justify such a course. And if so, a fortiori our Church 
admitted their validity for ministering in their own communions. 

True, as we have already observed, after the Restoration 
this was altered. The Act of Uniformity 13, 14 Car. II. c. 4, 
§§ 13, 14, requires, that all admitted to any " ecclesiastical 

> Keble's Pref. to Hooker, p. Ixxvi. 

2 Bishop Hall's Defence of the Humble Remonstrance, Sett. 14. Works, 
ed. Pratt, vol. 9. Qn'- 690, 691.) 

296 Tin: < UHISTIAN RKl.KilON 

promotion or dignity whatsoever" in our Church, or to 
administer the Lord's Supper, should have had " Episcopal 
Ordination." And a clause of a similar kind was added in the 
Preface to the Ordination-Services ; the words, " or hath had 
formerly Episcopal Consecration <>r Ordination/' being inserted 
at that time. 

But this could not affect tlie doctrine of our Church as pre- 
viously laid down in the Articles. The Article declaring the 
doctrine of our Church on the subject of admission to the 
ministerial office remained the same as it was when ministers 
of the Foreign Non-Episcopal Churches were freely permitted 
to minister in our churches. But, the Episcopal form of 
church-government being established in our Church, it wa» 
very reasonably required by the Act, that all who held any 
"promotion" in it should have received Episcopal Ordination, 
and this especially at a time when the benefices of the Church 
had been filled by men attached to the Presbyterian form of 
church-government, and the Episcopalian ministers ejected 
from them. The state of things at the time shows the object 
which the Act had in view, as no attempt had been made pre- 
viously to get such a law passed against the admission of 
ministers of Non-Episcopal Churches. And in the very next 
section of the Act (§ 15) we find a recognition of those com- 
munities as " the Foreign Reformed Churches." The fact 
that our Church requires all who hold office in her communion 
to be ordained according to that form of church-government 
which she has chosen to follow, proves nothing as to her doc- 
trine on the abstract question of the validity of the Orders of 
Non-Episcopal Churches. 

Once more ; if it were the case, that our Church held all 
but Episcopal Ordinations to be ihvalid, and that only those 
who have been ordained by bishops are entitled to preach the 
word and administer both the sacraments, the whole Bench of 
Bishops have been for more than a century, if not at the pre- 
sent moment, involved in the guilt of acting directly contrary 
to the doctrine of the Church ; for the missionaries sent out 
as ordained ministers by the Society for the Propagation of 


the Gospel, which is under the especial direction of the Bench 
of Bishops, used to be for the most part only in Lutheran 
Orders ;^ and if the practice has been given up, its discon- 
tinuance must be of very recent date. 

On these grounds, then, namely the witness of our early 
divines, the statements of our Formularies, and the practice of 
our Church, it is maintained as beyond all reasonable cavil, 
that our Church does not hold the doctrine of the exclusive 
validity of Episcopal Orders. 

I quite admit, indeed, that, in that great alteration that 
gradually took place, subsequently to the reign of Elizabeth, 
in the tone of the doctrine practically held in our Church by 
many of her divines, there was a great change on this point as 
well as others. 

We find Lord Bacon complaining, just at the close of the 
reign of Elizabeth, that some of the clergy denied the validity of 
the Orders conferred in the Foreign Non-Episcopal Churches. 
He says, " Some indiscreet persons have been bold in open 
" preaching to use dishonourable and derogatory speech and 
" censure of the Churches abroad ; and that so far, as some of 
" our men, as I have heard, ordained in foreign parts, have 
" been pronounced to be no lawful ministers." - 

This is another proof, that men so ordained were allowed by 
public authority to minister in our Church ; and also, no doubt, 
a proof that there had then arisen a school of divines among 
us that denied the validity of their Orders. 

It has been with some reason supposed, that one of the 
first, if not the very first, to question the validity of the 
Orders of the Foreign Non-Episcopal Churches was Laud. 
Certainly so early as 1604 he maintained this ground in the 
Divinity School at Oxford, and was accused by the Regius 
Professor of Divinity presiding on the occasion of supporting 
a new Popish and dangerous position ; for, when proceeding in 
that year to his degree of B.D., " he maintained, there could be 

' See the Report of the Society, and Pearson's Life of St-hwartz. 
' Advertisement touch, the Controv. of the Church of Engl. Works, ii. 514. 
ed. 1819. 

298 Tni: christian religion 

" no true Church without diocesan bishops, for wliich Dr. Hol- 
" land, then Doctor of the Chair, openly reprefteiided him in 
" the Schools for a seditious peraon, who would unchurch the Re- 
" formed ProtestuiU Churches beyond seas, and novj sow division 
" between us and them, who were brethren, by this novel popimii 
" position/'^ And this is confirmed by Heylin himself, who 
says, — "for which hist [his position as to the necessity of 
" bishops] he was shrewdly rattled by Dr. Holland above men- 
" tioned, as one that did endeavour to cast a bone of discord be- 
" twixt the Church of England and the Reformed Churches be- 
" yond the scas."^ Whether, however, he judged it expedient 
afterwards, to profess openly the same sentiments, I very much 
question, and am inclined to think he did not, as some of his 
statements are certainly inconsistent with such a notion. But 
I must add, that, like Mr. Newman, he well understood what 
" the circumstances of his position " required in such matters. 

But, whatever might be the ease with some hot-headed men 
in our Church, we do not find the more eminent divines even 
of that new school taking such ground. The utmost length 
to which they go, is to leave the question of the validity of 
such Ordinations doubtful, and decline the determination of it ; 
always, as far as we can recollect, protesting against their 
having any notion of denying to the Foreign Non-Episcopal 
Churches the character and essential privileges of Churches of 
Christ, however imperfectly constituted they might consider 
them to be. 

Bishop Andrews, for instance, might perhaps have felt a 
difficulty with respect to much that our earlier divines had 
written upon the subject j but nevertheless he says, when 
speaking on the subject of the proper form of government for 
the Church, in his Letters, in 1618, to Du Moulin, — "And 
" yet, though our government be by Divine right, it follows 
" not, either that there is 'no salvation,' or that 'a Church 
" cannot stand without it.' He must needs be stone blind, 
" that sees not Churches standing without it : he must needs 

' Pbtnxe's Life of Laud, p. 2. 

= RETLrs's Life of Laud, sub a. 1604. 


" be made of iron and hard-hearted, that denies them sal- 
" vation. We are not made of that metaJ, we are none of 
" those ironsides ; we put a wide difference betwixt them. 
" Somewhat may be wanting that is of Divine right (at least 
" in the external government), and yet salvation may be had 
" . . . . This is not to damn anything, to prefer a better thing 
" before it : this is not to damn your Church, to recall it to 
" another form, that all antiquity was better pleased with, i. e, 
" to ours : and this, when God shall grant the opportunity, 
" and your estate may bear it." ^ 

After him. Archbishop Bramhall took the highest ground 
among the eminent divines of that day in favour of Episcopacy, 
but nevertheless was far from pronouncing all but Episcopal 
Orders invalid. Writing, in 1643, against the Separatists (as 
the Dissenters were then called), he says : — " In a difference 
" of ways, every pious and peaceable Christian, out of his dis- 
" cretion and care of his own salvation, will inquire which is 
" * via tiitissima ' — * the safest way.\ . . . And seeing there is 
" required to the essence of a Church — first, a pastor ; secondly, 
" a flock ; thirdly, a subordination of this flock to this pastor, — 
" where we are not sure that there is right Ordination, what 
" assurance have we that there is a Church ? [But then he 
" immediately adds] / write not this to prejudge our neighbour 
" Churches. I dare not limit the extraordinary operation of 
*' God's Spirit, where ordinary means are wanting without the 
" default of the persons. He gave His people manna for 
" food whilst they were in the wilderness. Necessity is a 
" strong plea. Many Protestant Churches lived under kings 
" and bishops of another communion ; others had particular 
" reasons why they could not continue or introduce bishops : 
" but it is not so with us ... . But the chief reason is, because 


" ONLY SHEW WHAT IS SAFEST, wherc SO many Christians are 
" of another mind. I know, that there is great difference 
" between a valid and a regular Ordination ; and what some 
" choice divines do write of case of necessity ; and for my part 

1 AXDBEWS' Second Lett, to Du Moulin. See Wordsw. Clirist. Instit. vol. 
iii. p. 239. 


" am apt to believe, that God looks upon His people in mercy, 
" with all their prejudices; and that there in a great latitude 
" left to particular Churches in the constitution of their eccle- 
" siastical regiment, according to the exigence of time and 
" place and persons, so as order and His own institution be 
" observed."^ 

Again, in another subsequent work (written about 1659,) 
he writes : — 

" I cannot assent to his minor proposition, that either all 
" or any considerable part of the Episcopal divines in Eng- 
^' land do unchurch either all or the most part of the Protest- 
" ant Churches. No man is hurt, but by himself. They 
" unchurch none at all, but leave them to stand or fall to 
" their own Master. They do not unchurch the Swedish, 
" Danish, Bohemian Churches, and many other Churches in 
" Polonia, Hungaria, and those parts of the world which have 
" an ordinary uninterrupted succession of pastors, some by 
" the names of Bishops, others under the name of Seniors, 
" unto this day. (I meddle not with the Socinians.) They 
" unchurch not the Lutheran Churches in Germany, who both 
" assert Episcopacy in their confessions, and have actual 
" superintendents in their practice, and would have bishops, 
" name and thing, if it were in their power. Let him not 
" mistake himself; those Churches which he is so tender of, 
" though they be better known to us by reason of their vicinity, 
" are so far from being ' all or the most part of the Protestant 
" Churches,' that being all put together, they amount not to 
** so great a proportion as the Britannic Churches alone. And 
" if one secluded out of them all those who want an ordinary 
*' succession without their o\vn faults, out of invincible igno- 
" ranee or necessity, and all those who desire to have an ordi- 
** nary succession, either explicitly or implicitly, they will be 
" reduced to a little flock indeed. But let him set his heart 
** at rest. I will remove this scruple out of his mind, that he 
" may sleep securely upon both ears. Episcopal divines do 
" not deny those Churches to be true Churches wherein sal- 

^ Bkamhatl's Serpeut-Salve, § 25. Works. Oxf. ed. vol. iii. pp. 475, 476. 


" vation may be had. We advise them, as it is our duty, to 
" be circumspect for themselves, and not to put it to more ques- 
" tion, whether they have Ordination or not, or desert the 
" general practice of the Universal Church for nothing, when 
" they may clear it if they please. Their case is not the same 
" with those who labour under invincible necessity. . . . Epis- 
" copal divines will readily subscribe to the determination of 
" the learned Bishop of Winchester [Andrews], in his Answer 
" to the Second Epistle of Molineus [quoting the passage we 
" have given above]. This mistake proceedeth from not dis- 
" tinguishing between the true nature and essence of a Church, 
" which we do readily grant tfiem, and the integrity or perfec- 
" tion of a Church, which we cannot grant them without 
" swerving from the judgment of the Catholic Church."' 

And here we must not omit to notice, in passing, (what this 
last extract indicates, and is fully confirmed elsewhere in bis 
Works,) that there is another material difference in his views 
from those of our modern Tractarians, namely, that what he 
specially contends for, is, a succession of pastors, not neces- 
sarily bishops consecrated by bishops, and that out of these pas- 
tors one should be appointed as president over the rest ; and 
therefore he speaks favourably of the Lutheran Churches. 
He says elsewhere, expressly, of " most" of the Protestant 
Churches, " in High Germany," "all these have their bishops 
or superintendents, which is all one" . . . . " three parts of 
" four of the Protestant Churches have either bishops or 
" superintendents, which is all one." ^ He does not, therefore, 
insist so much upon a succession of bishops consecrated by 
bishops, as upon the adoption of the Episcopal form of 

We may judge, then, from these passages of Bishop An- 
drews and Archbishop Bramhall, what would have been the 
feelings of the most eminent even of our High Church divines 

* Bbamhaix's Vindic. of himself and the Episcopal Clergy, c. 3. 'JV^orks, voL 
iii. pp. 517, 518. See also his Replication to the Bishop of Chalcedon, Answ. to 
Pref. § 1. Works, iii 25, 26 ; and c. 1. § 2. lb. 69, 70. 

' Bbamhall's Serpent-Salve. Works, iii. 480, 485. 


respecting the language adopted on thia Bubject by the Trac- 
tarian school. 

And these two, Bp. Andrews and Abp. Bramhall, arc two 
more of the divines quoted by our opponents in their " Catena" 
on this subject as agreeing with them, and arc perhaps as *' high" 
in their notions on the subject as almost any they could cite, 
with the exception of the Non-jurors, of whom their list of 
course contains a tolerably large proportion, but who on account 
of their views on this very subject were called by our learned 
Archbishop Wake, *' furiosi scriptores." 

To the Divines of our Church already mentioned as opposing 
the views of the Tractators, it would be easy to add largely ; 
btit I shall content myself with extracts from a few others of 
acknowledged reputation among them, whom I quote as unex- 
ceptionable representatives of the great body of their brethren. 

First, let us take the testimony of Dr. John Bridges, then 
(1587) Dean of Salisbury, afterwards Bishop of Oxford. He, 
as we shall see, agrees with Archbishop Whitgift, that the 
form of church-government is a matter left to the discretion of 
each Church. He carries this view indeed to a point to which 
I could not follow him, but yet he was one of the most able 
and distinguished prelates of that period. 

With respect to the question of Order in the case of bishops 
and priests, he expressly maintains, that bishops are superiors, 
" not in the office of their Order, yet in the ofl&ce of their 
dignity;"^ and he speaks of the Episcopal state as "a high 
" calling, not so much of superior dignity, as of superior 
" charge in governing of God's Church."- 

And on the subject of the Episcopal government of the 
Church, opposing the notion of the Puritans, against whom 
he was writing, that one certain form only was allowable, — 
he writes thus: — " If now, on the other side, this be not a 
" matter of necessity, but such as may be varied, being but a 
" form and manner of Ecclesiastical government, as the ob- 
" servation of this feast and these fasts were of accustomed 
" order, not of necessity ; then, so long as it is used in mode- 

• Bridges' Defence of the Government established in the Chnrch of Eng- 
land. 1587. 4to. p. 287. » lb. p. 288. 


" rate sort, without tyranny or pride, nor anything contrary 
" to the proportion of faith and godliness of Ufe necessarily 
*' maintained thereby, (for otherwise, if those fasts or this 
" feast had been used to be kept superstitiously, it had been 
" so far forth to be condemned,) there is no reason why we 
" should break the bond of peace, and make such trouble in 
" the Church of God, to reject the government titat in the 
" nature thereof is as much indifferent as the solemnizing this or 
" that day the memorial of the Lord's resurrection. And yet 
" we celebrate the same on the Sunday only, as those Bishops 
" of Rome at that time did. Which I hope we do without 
" all offence, though we have no precept in Scripture for it. 
" And therefore, as Polycarpus and Anicetus, difiPering in that 
** point, notwithstanding did not violate the peace and unity 
" of the Church, so, according to Irenaeus' rule, while no 
" such excessive superiority is maintained of us, as the Pope 
" since that time hath usurped, but such as we find practised 
" in the Primitive Church and in the very Apostles' age, we 
" ought neither to condemn, or speak, or think evil of other good 
" Churches that use another Ecclesiastical government than we 
" do ; neither ought they to do the like of ours. Not that 
" every person in one and the same Church should use this 
" liberty of difference, without controlment and restraint of 
" the superior in that church wherein he liveth. For, though 
" it were lawful for one Church to differ from another, being 
" not so tied to uniformity, as to unity ; yet is it not meet for 
" one Church to differ from itself; but to be both in unity, 
" and be ruled also by uniformity. Especially where law 
" binds them to obedience.''^ 

Next, I would refer the reader to Dean Sutcliffe, who 
flourished at the close of the reign of Ehzabeth, and who in 
his day was a " High Church" divine. In his work " On the 
true Church of Christ," published in 1600, he thus speaks : — 

" Men that belong to the Church are seen in ecclesiastical 
" communities, and we understand such men to be a true 
" Church of Christ from the right preaching of the Word, and 

' lb. pp. 319, 320. 


the due administration of the Sacraments, and Christian 
worship. And tlicrcfore the Church of Jenisalem and 
Antioch and Home, and other Churches that formerly 
existed, we call Churches of Christ ; and the Anglican 
Church, and the German and French and Scutch and other 
Churches, associated with us in the communion of faith, we 
doubt not to be true Churches, and to belong to the Catholic 
or Universal Church." * 

** He [that is, Stapleton,] asserts, tenthly, that we [meaning 
by ' we,' the Protestant Churches,^ are destitute of the suc- 
cession. And he thinks that we are terribly pressed by this 
argument ; but without reason. For, the external Succession, 
which both heretics often have and the orthodox have not, is or 
NO MOMENT. Not even our adversaries themsclvcs, indeed, 
are certain respecting their own Succession, which they so 
greatly boast of. But we arc certain, that our doctors have 
succeeded to the apostles, and prophets, and most antient 
Fathers. And moreover, if there is any weight in external 
Succession, they have succeeded to the bishops and presbyters 
throughout Germany, France, England, and other countries, 
and were ordained by them. They have succeeded, also, as 
it respects doctrine, to those pious men, who, amidst the 
darkness of the Papal synagogue beheld the light, and 
boldly preached against its corruptions."^ 
And the very title of his last Chapter is, "That the Church 

' " Homines qui pertinent ad eccleaiam in ccetibus ecclesiasticis videntur : 
et hujusmodi noe homines ex verbi recta prsedicatione et legitima sacramento- 
rum administratione et cultu Christiano veram esse Christi eccleaiam intclligi- 
mus. Ideoque et ecclesiam Hierosolymitanam et Antiochenam et Romanam 
aliasque ecclesias quae olim fuerunt, vocamus Christi ecclesias, et ecclesiam 
Anglicanam et Germanicam et Gallicam et Scoticam reliq'iasque nobis commu- 
nione fidei sociatas, uon dubitamus veras esse, et ad catholicam seu universalem 
ecclesiam pertinere." Sutclit. De Vera Eccles. Lond. 1600. 4to. fol. 37, 38. 

* " Asserit decimo nos successione carere. Atque hoc argumento nos graviter 
torqueri putat ; sed falso. Nam in externa successione, quam et haeretici 
saepe habent, et orthoiloxi non habent, nihil est momenti. Xe ipsi quidem 
adversarii de sua successione, quam tantopere jactant, certi sunt. At nos certi 
sumus, doctorcs nostros Apostolis et Prophetis et Patribus antiquissimis succes- 
sisse. lidem etiam, si quid sit in externa successione ponderis, episcopis et 


*' of England and the other Churches communicating with it 
" in Germany, France, H(jlland, Scotland, and other countries, 
" arc the true and orthodox Church of Christ." ^ 

And he altogether rejects the idea of the Episcopal Succes- 
sion being a necessary note of the Church.- 

" I have ever declared my opinion to be," says Archbishop 
Usher at the close of his life, "that episcopus et presbyter 
" gradu tantum differunt nun ordine, and consequently that in 
" places where bishops cannot be had, the Ordination by pres- 
" bytcrs standeth valid, yet on the other side, holding as I do 
" that a bishop hath superiority in degree above a presbyter, 
" you may easily judge, that the Ordination made by such 
" presbyters as have severed themselves from those bishops 
" unto whom they had sworn canonical obedience cannot pos- 
" sibly by me be excused from being schismutical. And how- 
" soever I must needs think, that the Churches which have 
" no bishops are thereby become very much defective in their 
" government, and that the Churches in France, who, living 
" under a Popish power, cannot do what they would, are moru 
" excusable in this defect than the Low Countries that live under 
" a free State, yet for the testifying my com nuiiioa with those 
" Churches, which I do luce and honour as true members of the 
" Church Universal, Ida profess that with like affection I should 
" receive the blessed sacrament at the hands of the Dutch minis- 
" ters if 1 were in Holland, as I should do at tlte hands of the 
" French ministers if I were in CharetUone.*'^ And who, I ask, 
of all our divines is more worthy to be listened to on such a 
point than Archbishop Usher ? 

So, also, our learned Bishop Davenant : — " In a disordered 

presbytoris per Gormauiom, Giilliam, Aiigliaiu, alia^ue regiones sacoessffl^nt, 
et ab els ordiuati sunt. Sucxjesseniat etiam cjuoad doctriiiam piis illis viria, 
ijui in tenebris Synagogre Poutilioujc lueeiu aspcxerunt, et ooutra ejus corrupte- 
las fortiter praKlioaruiit." Id. ib. fol. 123. 

' " Etvleslam Anglieauain aliasque [tnisprinUd alio^qae] cum ea in Germanla, 
GuIIIh, Bv'lgio, Sootla, aliL5.iue reglouibas communicautes veram et arthoioxam 
esse Cbrlsti ecolesiam." Id. ib. foL US. 

i Id. ib. fol. 76—78. 

3 Juilgiuent of the luto Arcliblahop of Annagh, JL\, eil. by Dr. Barairl. 
I(i57. pp. 123 — 7. 



" Church, where all the bishops have fallcD into hertMj or 
" idolatry, vvljcrc they have refused to orduin orthodox minis- 
" ters, where they have conhidt^rod thonc only who arc a»»o- 
" ciatcH of their faction and error to he worthy of holy OrdcrH, 
" if ortliodox presbyters (for the preservation of the Church) 
" are compelled to ordain other presbyters, I could not ven- 
*' turc to pronounce such Ordinations useless and invalid.'* 
And this he proceeds to apply to the case of certain Protestant 

And in his Letter to Mr. Dury, on [i ;iinonj5 

the Protestant Churches, he says: — ' i i ut not 

" at all but that the Saxon and Helvetian Churches, and 
*' others which either consent with these, or those, acknow- 
" ledge themselves to have, and to desire to retain, bnjtherly 
" communion with the English, Scottish,Iri8h,aDd other Foreign 
" Reformed Churches. Surely as concerning us, although we 
" consent not with them in all points and titles of controver- 
" sial divinity, yet we acknowledge them brethren in Christ, 
" and protest ourselves to have a brotherly and holy coromu- 
" nion with them."- 

One of the most eminent and able divines of our Church 
was Bishop Morton, of the 17th century, bishop successively 
of Chester, Lichfield, and Durham. And thus he speaks : — 
*' Where the bishops degenerate into wolves, there the prcs- 
" byters regain their antient right 0/ orrfaminy (consecrandi). 
" I call it auticnt, because that the Ej)iscopate and the 
" Presbyterate are, jure dirino, the same, is laid down by 
" Marsilius, Gratian, &c."^ 

Another able prelate of our Church at this period, and a 
strenuous defender of Episcopacy, was Dr. George Downbam. 
But in a sermon on this subject, after having undertaken to 
stew the jus divinum of Episcopacy in the sense of being an 
apostolical institution, he guards himself against being sup- 

1 Datexaxt. Determ. qnaest. &c. Cant. 1634. fol. q. 42. p. 191. 

* Prefixed to his " Exhort, to broth, comm. betwixt the Protestant Chnrches. 
Lond. 1641." 12mo. p. 33. See also the Treatise following it. 

3 Morton. Apol. Cathol. P. 1. lib. 1. c. 21. cd. 2nda, Lond. 1606. 8vo. 
p. 74. 


posed to take the ground which the Puritans took in behalf of 
their platform of church-government, namely, that because it 
was to be found in the Scriptures, therefore it was " per|>ctu- 
ally and unchangeably necessary in all Churches," remark- 
ing : — " Although we be well assured, that the form of 
" government by bishops is the best, as having not only the 
" warrant of Scripture for the first institution, but also the 
" perpetual practice of the Church from the apostles* time to 
" our age for the continuance of it ; notwithstanding we 
" doubt not, but where this may not be had, others may 
" be admitted ; neither do we deny, but that silver is good, 
" though gold be better." ^ 

And in his Defence of this sermon, referring to this passage, 
he says : — " Which objection and answer I inserted of pur- 
" pose into the sermon to preserve the credit of those Re- 
" formed Churches where the Presbyterian discipline is esta- 
" blished, and that they might not be exposed or left naked 
" to the obloquies of the Papists." * 

And expressly on the point of Ordination he says : — " Thus 
" have I reported the judgment of the antient Church 
" ascribing the ordinary right of Ordination to bishops, but 
" yet, not so appropriating it unto them as that extraordinarily 
" and in case of necessity it might not be law ful for presby- 
" ters to ordain ; and much less teaching (as the Papists 
" imagine) absolutely a nullity in the Ordination which is not 
" performed by a bishop. For suppose a Church (the state of 
" some Reformed Churches) either altogether destitute of a 
" bishop, or pestered with such as the Popish prelates are, 
" heretical and idolatrous, by whom no orthodoxal ministers 
" might hope to be ordained, we need not doubt, but that the 
" antient Fathers would, in such a case of necessity, have 
" allowed Ordination without a bishop, though not as regular, 
" accordmg to the rules of ordinary church-government, yet as 
" effectual and as justifiable in the want of a bishop." ' 

1 Downham's Senu. at Conswr. of Bp. of Bath and Wells, 1608. 4to. p. 95. 

2 Def. of Sorm. &c. 1611. 4to. Ub. 4. c. 7. pp. 115, 116. 
■* Senu. pp. 42, 43. 

X 2 


Another cmiueiit divine of our Church was Dr. Crakan- 
thorp, and he likewise justifies the Foreign Non-K])i«copal 
Churches in this matter on the ground of necessity ; and as it 
respects their not taking the first opportunity of restoring the 
Episcopal form of government, only remarks : — " We heartily 
** wish indeed, that since that law of necessity is now removed, 
" all the Churches may desire to return to the antient order 
" and mode of ordaining most constantly observed by the 
" Universal Church, and restore to the bishops their keys; 
" but we wish, we do not compel. We neither have nor 
" desire to have power and dominion over their churches."* 
And he expressly maintains their cause as that of orthodox 
Churches, and asserts that we are in communion with them.' 

But one of the most important testimonies as to the doc- 
trine of our Church and her most able divines on this subject, 
is that of Bishop Cosin, to which we have already referred. 
It occurs in a letter written from Paris in IG50 to a Mr. 
Cordel, who scrupled to communicate with the French Pro- 
testants. To the objection of Mr. Cordel, that " they have 
no priests," Dr. Cosin thus replies : — " Though we may 
" safely say and maintain it, that their ministers are not so 
" duly and rightly ordained as they should be by those 
" prelates and bishops of the Church who since the Apostles' 
" time have only had the ordinary power and authority to 
" make and constitute a priest, yet that, by reason of this 
" defect, there is a total nullity in their Ordination, or that they 
" be therefore iw priests or viinisters of the Church at all, 
" because they are ordained by those only who are no more but 
" priests and ministers among them ; for my part, I would be 
" loth to affirm and determine it against them. And these are 
" my reasons. Fii-st : I conceive that the power of Ordination 

^ " Optamus quidem ex animo, ut cum lex ilia necessitatis jam ablata sit, 
velint et omnes Ecclesiae ad priscimi et ab universali Ecdesia constantissime 
observatum ordinem et ordinandi modimi redire ; clavesque euas Episcopis 
restituant : sed optamus, non cogimus. Jus et itnperium in eorum Ecclesias 
nee habemus ties, nee desideramus." CiiAKAi'iiiOEP. Defcns. Ecclcs. Anglic. 
Lond. 1625. 4to. c. 41. § 12. pp. 246, 247. 

- See ib. c. 43. pp. 2a3 et seq. 


'* was restrained to bishops rather by apostolical practice and 
" the perpetual custom and canons of the Church, than by 
" any absolute precept that either Christ or his apostles gave 
" about it. Nor can I yet meet with any convincing argu- 
" ment to set it upon a more high and divine institution. 
" From which customs and laws of the Universal Church 
'* (therein following the example of the Apostles) though I 
" reckon it to be a great presumption and fault for any par- 
" ticular Church to recede, and may truly say that fieri non 
" oportuit (when the college of mere presbyters shall ordain 
** and make a priest), yet I cannot so peremptorily say, that 
"factum non valet, and pronounce the Ordination to be utterly 
" void. For as in the case of baptism, we take just exception 
*' against a layman or a woman that presumes to give it, and 
" may as justly punish them by the censures of the Church 
" wherein they live, for taking upon them to do that office, 
*' which was never committed unto them ; yet, if once they 
*' have done it, we make not their act and administration of 
*' baptism void ; nor presume we to iterate the sacrament after 
'* them ; so may it well be in the case of Ordination, and the 
" ministers of the Reformed Conyregations in France ; who are 
" liable to give an account both to God and his Church in 
" general, for taking upon them to exercise that power which 
" by the perpetual practice and laws of His Church they 
" were never permitted to exercise, and may justly be faulted 
" for it, both by the verdict of all others who are members 
" of the Catholic Church (as we are that adhere to the laws 
" of it more strictly and peaceably than they do), and by the 
" eensui*es of a lawful meeting or general council in that 
" Church, which at any time shall come to have authority 
" over them. And yet all this while, the act which they do, 
" though it be disorderly done, and the Ordinations which 
" they make, though they make them unlawfully, shall not be 
" altogether mill and invalid, no more than the act of baptizing 
" before mentioned, or the act of consecrating and adminis- 
" teriug the Eucharist by a priest that is suspended and 
" restrained from exercising his power and office in the 


" Church. Tlicrefon;, if at any time a minister so ordaiticd 
" in these French ChurchetJ came to incoqiorate himself in 
" ours, and to receive a public charge or cure of souls among 
" ua in the Church of England, (as I have known some of 
" them to have so done of late, and can instance in many 
" other before my time,) our bishops did not re-ordain him 
** before they admitted him to his charge, as they must have 
" done, if his former Ordination here in France had been 
" void. Nor did our laws require more of him than to 
" declare his pubhc consent to the religion received amotigst 
" us, and to subscribe the Articles established. And I love 
" not to be herein more wise or harder than our own Church 
" is, which, because it hath never publicly condemned and pro- 
'* nounced the Ordinations of the other Reformed Churches 
" to be void, as it doth not those of the uureformed Churches, 
" neither among the Papists (though I hear that the ministers 
" here in France and Geneva use so to do, who will not admit 
" a Papist priest himself to exercise the office of a minister 
" among them till they have re-ordaiued him) ; for my part, 
*' as to that particular, / dare not take upon me to condemn or 
" determine a nulUty of their own Ordinations against them ; 
" though iu the interim I take it to be utterly a fault among 
" them, and a great presumption, deserving a great censure 
" to be inflicted on them, by such a power of the Church as 
" may, by the grace of God, be at any time duly gathered 
" together hereafter against them, as well for the amendment 
" of many other disorders and defects in their Church, as 
" for this particular iuorderly Ordination and defect of 
" Episcopacy amongst them. Besides that this theii- bold- 
" ness, presumption, and novelty (in setting up themselves 
" without any invincible necessity that they had so to 
" do, against the apostolical practice and perpetual order of 
" God's Church till their days) was always faulted, and 
" reserved for further censure, in due time, which they have 
" justly merited. Secondly.^ There have been both learned 

' I have taken the hberty of making the second reason L-onimence here (as 
it evidently does), instead of at the beginning of the previous sentence. 


" and eminent men (as well in former ages as in this, and even 
" among the Roman Catholics as well as Protestants,) who 
*' have held and maintained it for good and passable divinity, 
'* that presbyters have the intrinsical power of Ordination in 
*' actu primo ; though for the avoiding of schism (as St. 
" Hierom speaks) and preserving order and discipline in the 
" Church, they have been restrained ever since the first times, 
*' and still are, (but where they take a liberty to themselves 
*' that was never duly given them,) from exercising their 
" power in actu secundo ; and therefore that however their act 
" of ordaining of other presbyters shall be void, according to 
" the strictness of the canon, (in regard they were universally 
" prohibited from executing that act, and breaking the order 
" and discipline of the Church,) yet that the same act shall 
*' not be simply void in the nature of the thing, in regard that 
** intrinsical power remained, when the exercise of it was sas- 
** pended and taken from them. Of this opinion and judg- 
" ment in old time were St. Hierom and his followers, alleged 
" by Gratian, dist, 93 ; and of later times, the Master of the 
*' Sentences, lib. iv. dist. 24. Bonavent. ibid. 9. 3. Art. 2 ; 
*' with other schoolmen, as Aureol. ibid. Art. 2 ; and Anton. 
*' de Rusellis, De Potest. Imper. et Papali, Part iv. c. 18; and 
" in this later age, not only Armuchanus in Sum. ad qusest. 
"Art. 1. 11. c. 2, 3, &c. and c. 7. Alphons. a Castrt 
" (verb. Episcopus), Mich. Medina, De sacr. hom. orig. 
'Mib. 1. c. 5, among the Roman Catholics; but like- 
** wise Cassander in Consult. Art. 14, besides Melanc- 
" thon, Clementius \fChemnitius'], Gerardus, and Calixtus, 
" amongst the Protestants ; and Bishop Jewel (Def. 2. p. 
" c. 3. d. 1, &c. 9. div. 1) ; Dr. Field, Of the Church, lib. 3. 
" c. 39; Hooker, Eccles. Pol. lib. 3. § 3 ult., and Mason, 
" among the divines of our own Church. All which authors 
" are of so great credit with you and me, that though we 
'' are not altogether of their mind, yet we would be loth to let 
" the world see that we contradict them all, and condemn their 
*•' judgment openly ; as needs we must, if we hold the contrary, 
" and say, that the ministers of the Reformed French Churches, 


"/or want of E/mcojial Ordination, hare no Order at all.' 
[Tlic reader will observe here wliut the view of ni^iiop Cosiii 
was, us to the scntimcnta of Jewel, Hooker, Field, and 

Dr. Cosin adds several other reasons, with which, however, 
wc need not trouble our readers, except the following : — 
" If the Churcli and kingdom of England have aeknowl«;dgcd 
" them (us they did in admitting of them when they lied 
" thither for refuge, and placing them by public authority in 
" divers of the most eminent cities among us, without prohi- 
" bition to any of our own people to go and communicate 
" with them), why should wc, that are but private persons, 
" utterly disclaim their communion in their own country V 

And therefore he concludes that, — " Considering there is 
" no prohibition of our ('hurch against it {as there is ar/aimt 
" our communicating with the Papists, and that well-grounded 
" upon the Scrij)ture and will of God), I do not sec but that 
" both you, and others that are with you, may (either in case 
" of necessity, when you cannot have the sacrament among 
" yourselves, or in regard of declaring your unity in professing 
" the same religion, which you and they do,) go others hiles to 
" communicate reverently with them of the French Church."* 

Moreover, in a work entitled "Dr. Cosin's opinion when 
Dean of Peterborough and in exile for communicating rather 
with Geneva than Rome"^ we have a letter written to a friend 
here during his exile, in which he says, " It is far less safe to 
" join with these men that alter the credenda, the vitals of re- 
" ligion [alluding to the Komanists], than with those that 
" meddle only with the agenda and rules of religion, if they 
" meddle no further .... They of Geneva are to blame in 
" many things and defective in some ; they shall never have 
" my approbation of their doings, nor let them have yours, 
*' yet I do not see that they have set up any new articles of 
" faith under pain of damnation to all the world that will not 

' Tlif whole of this letter is given by Basire and Bp. Fleetwood (as referred 

to rtlxjvi'). 

- rublL-hcd by Dr. K. A\'at.sou. Loud. ICSi. 8vo. 


" receive them for such articles, and you know whose case 
" that is." (pp. 3, 4.) And in his last Will he says,—" Wher- 
" ever in the whole world Churches reckoned as Christian 
" Churches profess the true, antient, and catholic religion and 
" faith, and with one mouth and mind adore and worship God 
" the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with such, though dis- 
" tance, or the disagreements of mankind, or any other 
*' obstacle, may ever prevent my actually holding communion 
" (jungi) with them, yet in heart, mind, and affection, I shall 
" always be united and form one (conjungor ac coalesce) ; 
" which I wish especially to be understood of the Protestant 
" and well-reformed Churches."^ 

Still more clearly and fully speaks the learned Dean Field, 
ill his celebrated work " Of the Church." " The next thing to 
" be examined," he says, " is, whether the power of Ordination 
" be so essentially annexed to the Order of bishops, that none 
" but bishops may in any case ordain. For the clearing 
" whereof we must observe, that the whole ecclesiastical power 
" is aptly divided into the power of Order and Juriadictiun . . . 
" The power of holy or ecclesiastical Order is nothing else but 
" that power which is specially given to men sanctified and set 
" apart from others to perform certain sacred, supernatural, 
" and eminent actions, which others of another rank may not 
" at all or not ordinarily meddle with : as to preach the word, 
** administer the sacraments, and the like. The next kind of 
" ecclesiastical power is that of Jwisdiction. For the more 
" distinct and full understanding whereof, we must note that 
" three things are implied in the calling of ecclesiastical 
" ministers. First, an election, choice or designment of per- 
" sous fit for so high and excellent employment. Secondly, 
" the consecrating of them and giving them power and 
" authority to intermeddle with things pertaining to the 

" service of God Thirdly, the assigning and dividing 

" out to each man thus sanctified to so excellent a work, that 
" portion of God's people which he is to take care of, who 

' I mioto from the Preface to Lis " Begni ^Vngllai Boli^po et Gub«ru. Ecdes." 
Loud. 1720. 4to. \>. ii. 


" must be directed by bim in tbings tbut pertain to the 
" hope of eternal salvation. Tbia ])articular assignation givctb 
" to them tbat bad only the power of Order before the power 
" of Jurisdiction also over the persons of men. Thus, then, it 
" is necessary that tl»e people of God be sorted into several 
" portions, and the sheep of Christ divided into several tloeks, 
" for the more orderly guiding of them .... The Apostle* 
** of Christ and their successors, when they planted the 
" Churches, so divided the people of God converted by their 
" ministry into particular Churches, that each city and the 
" places near adjoining did make but one Church. Now, bc- 
" cause the unity and peace of each particular Church of God, 
" and flock of his sheep, dependeth on the unity of the pastor, 
" and yet the necessities of the many duties that are to be 
" performed in Churches of so large extent require more 
" ecclesiastical ministers than one, therefore, though there be 
" many presbyters, that is, many fatherly guides of one 
" Church, yet there is one amonyst the rest that is specially 
" pastor of the place, who fur distinction sake is named a bishop ; 
" to whom an eminent and peerless power is given for the 
*^' avoiding of schisms and factions ; and the rest are but his 
" assistants and coadjutors, and named by the general name of 
" presbyters. So that, in the performance of the acts of 
" ecclesiastical ministry, wbcn he is present and will do them 
" himself, they must give place, and in his absence, or when 
" being present he needeth assistance, they may do nothing 
" without his consent and liking. Yea, so far, for order's 
" sake, is he preferred before the rest, that some things are 
" specially reserved to him only, as the ordaining of such as 
" should assist him in the work of his ministry, the reconciling 
" of penitents, confirmation of such as were baptized by im- 
" position of hands, dedication of churches, and such like. 
" These being the divers sorts and kinds of ecclesiastical 
*' power, it will easily appear to all them that enter into the 
" due consideration thereof, that the power of ecclesiastical or 
'' sacred Order, that is, the power and authority to intermeddle 
" with things pertaining to the service of God, and to perform 


" eminent acts of gracious efficacy, tending to the procuring of 
*' the eternal good of the sons of men, is equal and the same 
" in all those whom we call presbyters, that is, fatherly guides of 
" God's Church and people ; and that only for order's sake, 
" and the preservation of peace, there is a limitation of the use 
" and exercise of the same. Hereunto agree all the best learned 
" amongst the Romanists themselves, freely confessing, that 
" that wherein a bishop excelleth a presbyter is not a distinct 
" and higher Order or power of Order, but a kind of dignity 
" and office or imployment only. Which they prove because a 
*• presbyter ordained y;er saltuvi, that never was consecrated or 
" ordained deacon, may notwithstanding do all those acts that 
" pertain to the deacon's Order, because the higher Order doth 
'* always imply in it the lower and inferior in an eminent and 
" excellent sort. But a bishop ordained per saltum, that never 
" had the ordination of a presbyter, can neither consecrate and 
" administer the sacrament of the Lord's body, nor ordain a 
" presbyter, himself being none, nor do any act peculiarly l>er- 
" taining to presbyters. AVhereby it is most evident, that that 
" wherein a bishop excelleth a presbyter, is not a distinct 
" power of Order, but an eminency and dignity only, specially 
" yielded to one above all the rest of the same rank for order 
" sake, and to preserve the unity and peace of the Church. 
" Hence it foUoweth, that many things, which in some 
" cases presbyters may lawfully do, are peculiarly reserved 
'' unto bishops, as Hierome noteth, (Contra Luciferianos) 
'* rather for the honour of their ministry than the necessity of 
" any law. And therefore we read, (Greg. Januario, Ep. 1. 3. 
" indict. 12. epist. 26.) that presbyters in some places, and 
" at some times, did impose hands and confirm such as 
" were baptized, which when Gi?egory Bishop of Rome would 
" wholly have forbidden, there was so great exception taken 
" to him for it, that he left it free again. And who knoweth 
" not, that all presbyters, in cases of necessity, may absolve 
' ' and reconcile penitents (Carth. 3. can. 32), a thing in ordinary 
*' course appropriated unto bishops ? And why not by the 
" same reason ordain presbyters and deacons in cases of like 


" necessity ? For, seeing the cause why they are forbidden to 
" do these acts, is, because to bishops ordinarily the care of all 
" Churches is committed, and to them in all reason the Ordi- 
" nation of such as must serve in the Church pcrtaineth that 
" have the chief care of the Church, and have Churches wherein 
'^ to imploy them ; which only bishops have as long as they 
" retain their standing, and not presbyters, being but assist- 
" ants to bishops in their Churches ; if they become enemies 
" to God and true religion, in case of such necessity, as the 
" care and government of the Church is devolved to the pres- 
" byters remaining catholic and being of a better spirit, so the 
" duty of ordaining such as are to assist or succeed them 
" in the work of the ministry pertains to them likewise. For 
" if the power of Order and authority to intermeddle in things 
" pertaining to God's service be the same in all presbyters, 
" and that they be limited in the execution of it only for order 
" sake, so that in case of necessity every of them may baptize 
" and confirm them whom they have baptized, absolve and 
" reconcile j)enitent8, and do all those other acts which regu- 
" larly arc appropriated unto the bishop alone, there is no 
" reason to be given but that in case of necessity, wherein all 
" bishops were extinguished by death, or being fallen into 
" heresy should refuse to ordain any to serve God in his true 
" w^orship, but that presbyters, as they may do all other acts, 
" whatsoever special challenge bishops in ordinary course 
" make unto them, might do this also. "VATio, then, dare 
" condemn all those worthy ministers of God that were 
" ordained by presbyters in sundry Churches of the world, at 
" such times as bishops in those parts where they lived opposed 
" themselves against the truth of God, and persecuted such as 
" professed it ? Surely the best learned in the Church of 
" Rome in former times durst not pronounce all Ordinations of 
" this nature to be void. For not only Armachanus, a very 
" learned and worthy bishop, but, as it appeareth by Alexander 
" of Hales, many learned men in his time and before were of 
" c]>inion, that in some cases and at some times presbyters 
" may give Orders, and that their Ordinations are of force. 


" though to do SO, not being urged by extreme necessity, 
" cannot be excused from over great boldness and presumption 

" All that may be alleged out of the Fathers for proof of 

" the contrary may be reduced to two heads. For, first, 
" whereas they make all such Ordinations void as are made by 
" presbyters, it is to be understood according to the strictness 
" of the canons in use in their time, and not absolutely in the 
" nature of the thing, which appears in that they likewise 
" make all Ordinations sine titulu to be void ; all Ordinations of 
" bishops ordained by fewer than three bishops with the metro- 
" politan ; all Ordinations of presbyters by bishops out of their 
" own Churches without special leave ; whereas I am w ell 
" assured, the Romanists will not pronounce any of these to be 
" void, though the parties so doing are not excusable from all 
" fault. Secondly, their sayings are to be understood regu- 
" larly not without exception of some special cases that may 
" fall out.^'i 

In a subsequent part of his work he reverts to the same 
subject, and adds the following remarks: — "Touching the 
" pre-eminence of bishops above presbyters, there is some 
" difference among the School-divines. For, the best learned 
" amongst them are of opinion, that bishops are not greater 
" than presbyters in the power of Consecration or Order : but 
" only in the exercise of it, and in the power of Jurisdiction, 
" seeing presbyters may preach, and minister the greatest of 
" all sacraments, by virtue of their Consecration and Order, as 
" well as bishops. Touching the power of Consecration 
" or Order, saith Durandus (in 4 Sent. dist. 24. q. 5.), it is 
" much doubted of among divines, whether any be greater 
" therein than an ordinary presbyter : for Hierome seemeth 
" to have been of opinion, that the highest power of Consecra- 
" tion or Order is the power of a priest or elder ; so that 
'' every priest in respect of his priestly power may minister 
" all sacraments, confirm the baptized, give all Orders, all 
" blessings and consecrations; but that for the avoiding of the 
" peril of schism, it was ordained that one should be chosen 
> Field, Of the Cluirch, bk. iii. c. 39. pp. 155—8. 


" who should be named a bishop, to whom tlic rc»t Rhould 
" obey, and to whom it was reserved to give Orders, and to do 
" some stieh other things as none but bishops do. Andafter- 
" wards lie saith, tliat Ilierome is cU-arly of this opinion ; not 
" making the distinction of bishops from presbyters a mere 
" human invention, or a thing not necessary, as Aerim did ; 
" but thinking that amongst them who are equal in the power 
" of Order, and equally enabled to do any sacred act, the 
" Apostles (for the avoiding of schism and confusion, and the 
" preservation of unity, peace and order) ordained that in each 
" Church one should be Ixifore and alx)ve the rest, without 
" whom the rest should do nothing, and to whom some things 
" should be peculiarly reserved, as the dedicating of churches, 
" reconciling of penitents, confirming of the baptized, and the 
" Ordination of such as are to serve in the work of the 
" Ministry : of which the three former were reserved to the 
" bishop alone, potius ad honorem Sacerdolii, quam ad leyig 
*' necessitateni ; that is, rather to honour his priestly and 
" bishoply place, than for that those things at all may not be 
" done by any other. And therefore we read, (Ambros. in 
" 4 ad Ephcs.) that at some times, and in some cases of neccs- 
" sity, presbyters did reconcile penitents, and by imposition 
" of hands confirm the baptized. But the ordaining of men 
" to sei-ve in the work of the ministry is more properly 
" reserved to them. For, seeing none are to be ordained at 
" random, but to serve in some church, and none have 
" churches but bishops, all other being but assistants to them 
" in their churches, none may ordain but they only, unless it 
" be in cases of extreme necessity, as when all bishops are ex- 
" tinguished by death, or, fallen into heresy, obstinately refuse 
" to ordain men to preach the Gospel of Christ sincerely. 
" And then as the care and charge of the Church is devolved 
" to the presbyters remaining Catholic, so likewise the ordain- 
" ing of men to assist them and succeed them in the work of 
" the ministry. But hereof I have spoken at large elsewhere. 
" Wherefore to conclude this point, we see that the best 
" learned amongst the Schoolmen are of opinion, that bishops 


" are no yr eater than presbyters in the power of Consecration or 
" Order , but only in the exercise of it, and in the power of Juris- 
" diction, with whom Stapleton (Relect. Contro. 2. q. 3. art. 3.) 
" seemeth to agree, saying expressly, that, Quoad ordinem 
" sacerdutalem, et ea qua sunt ordinis, that is, in respect of 
" sacerdotal Order, and the things that pertain to Order, they are 
" EQUAL ; and that therefore in all administration of sacra- 
" ments which depend of Order, they are all equal potestate, 
" though not exercitio ; that is, in power, though not in the 
" execution of things to be done by virtue of that power. 
" Whence it will follow, that Ordination, being a kind of 
" sacrament, and so depending of the power of Order, in the 
" judgment of our adversaries might be ministered by presby- 
" ters, but that for the avoiding of such horrible confusions, 
" scandals, and schisms, as would follow upon such promis- 
" CUOU8 Ordinations, they are restrained by the decree of the 
" Apostles ; and none permitted to do any such thin- t 

" it be in case of extreme necessity, but bishops, who - 

" power of Order in common together with presbytert, but yet so, 
" as that they excel them in the execution of things to be done 
"by virtue of that power, and in the iiow.r of Jiirisilirtiiui 
" also." 

And he then proceeds to animadvert upon IklWmiue's 
opposite view on the subject.^ 

The reader will observe, then, that the ground here taken 
by Dean Field is, that a presbyter at his Ordination receives 
full power to perform all the functions of the divine ministry 
and service, all sacred acts of whatever kind, the exercise of 
which power however is to be regulated by the situation in 
which he maybe placed in the Church. Hence it is said, that 
a presbyter and a bishop do not differ in Order but only in 
office, which, notwithstanding it has been cavilled at as an 
unmeaning and nugatory distinction, appears to me a very in- 
telligible and useful one. 

Similar testimonies might be adduced to almost any extent, 
but I will only add here a few more from some of our more 
modern divines. 

» lb. bk. 5. e. 27. pp. 500, 501. 


" I do allow episcopacy/* says Dean Sherlock, " to be an 
" Apostolical institution, and the truly antient and catholic 
" government of the Church, of which more hereafter ; but 
" yet in this very book I prove industriously and at large, 
" that, in case of necessity, when bishops cannot be had, a 
" Church may be a truly Catholic Church, and such as wc may 
" and ought to communicate with, without biahitjis, in vindiea- 
" tion of some Foreign Reformed Churches who have none, and 
" therefore I do not make episcopacy so absolutely necessary 
" to catholic communion as to unchurch all Churches which 
" have it not." ^ " The Church of England docs not deny, 
" but that in case of necessity the Ordioatiou of presbyters 
" may be valid." ^ 

Our learned Bingham — the most deeply versed in ecclesi- 
astical antiquity, perhaps, of any of our divines — so little agreed 
with our opponents, that after quoting the 19th Article, and 
stating that none of our divines object to it on account of its 
not mentioning " bishops or their government," he add.s, — 
" For in all their disputes with the Papists, they never rc- 
** quire more than these two notes of the Church. They say 
" with Bishop Andrews, * that though Episcopal government 
" be of Divine institution, yet it is not so absolutely necessary 
" as that there can be no Church, nor sacraments, nor salva- 
" tion without it. He is blind that sees not many Churches 
" flourishing without it ; and he must have a heart as hard as 
" iron, that will deny them salvation. Something may be 
" wanting, that is of Divine right, in the exterior regimen of 
" the Church, and yet salvation be obtained therein.' Now 
" this is the case of the French Church, which Bishop Andrews 
" and his followers allow to have all the necessary and essential 
" notes of a true Church, though Episcopal government was 
" never settled among them." ^ 

In the debate on Occasional Conformity, in 1*02, Dr. Sharp, 
archbishop of York, stated, that " if he were abroad, he w ould 

1 Sherlock's Vindication of some Protestant principles of Church unity and 
catholic communion, LoutL 1688. Sec the reprint in Bishop Gibson's Pre- 
servative, vol. ilL p. -ilO. 

2 lb. p. 432. 

3 French Church's ApoL for Church of England, bk.2. c. 2. Works, ix. iO, 11. 


willingly communicate with the Protestant Churches, where 
he should happen to be." ^ 

In the debate on the Union with Scotland, in 1707, Dr. 
Tenison, archbishop of Canterbury, said, " he thought the 
" narrow notions of all Churches had been their ruin, and that 
" he believed the Church of Scotland to be us true a Protestant 
" Church as the Church of England, though he could not say 
" it was as perfect."^ 

Even the nonjuror Archbishop Bancroft, in some Admoni- 
tions issued to the clergy of his Province in 1688, speaks in 
fraternal terms of the Foreign Reformed Churches, exhorting 
his clergy — " That they warmly and most affectionately ex- 
" hort them [i.e., " our brethren the Protestant Dissenters "] 
" to join with us in daily fervent prayer to the God of peace for 
" the universal blessed union of all Reformed Churches both at 
" home and abroad against our common enemies ; that all they 
" who do confess the holy name of our dear Lord, and do agree 
" in the truth of His holy word, may also meet in one holy 
" communion, and live in perfect unity and godly love." ' 

For the sentiments of Archbishop Wake, to the same effect, 
the reader may consult some letters (written in 1719) given 
in the 4th Append, to Mosheim's Eccles. Hist, translated by 
Maclaine, Cent, xviii. No. xix — xiii ; one of which is to ''the 
pastors and professors of Geneva," whom he addresses as 
" fratres charissimi ;" and in another (No. xix.) he says, — 
" The Reformed Churches, though in some things differing 
" from our English Church, I willingly embrace. I could 
" have wished indeed that the episcopal form of church- 
" government had been retained by all of them. In the mean- 
" while be it far from uie to be so iron-hearted that on account 
" of a defect of this kind (such I may be permitted without 
" offence to call it) I should believe that some of them are to 
" be broken off from our communion, or, with certain insane 

1 Life of Abp. Sharp, vol. i. p. 377. 

2 Carstares, 759, iis quoted by Mr. Hallam, Constit. Hist. 4th ed. ii. 483. 
« D'Oyly's Life of Sancroft, i. 325; or Wilk. Cone. iv. 619. 

VOL. II. y 


" writers among ns, should assert, that they liav«: ii<< iim .unl 
" valid sacraments, and thus are scarcely Christians." ' 

In 1764 we have Archbishop Seeker following him in the 
same strain : — " Our inclination is to live in friendship with 
" all the Protestant Churches. We assist and protect those on 
" the continent of Europe as well as we are able. We show 
" our regard to that of Scotland as often as we have an oppor- 

And, defending our lieformation, in one of bis sermons 
against the Romanists, he says, — " Supposing we had even 
" acted without, and separated from, our Church governors, 
" as our Protestant brethren abroad were forced to do : was 
" there not a cause ? When the word of God was hidden 
" from men . . . when Church authority, by supporting such 
" things as those, became inconsistent with the ends for which 
" it was established, what remedy was there but to throw it off 
" and form new establishments ? If in these there were any 
" irregularities, they were the faults of those who forced men into 
" them, and are of no consequence in comparison with the reason 
" that made a change necessary." ' 

Still more strongly speaks the late Bishop Tomline : — " I 
" readily acknowledge that there is no precept in the New 
" Testament which commands that every Church should be 
" governed by bishops. No Church can exist without some 
" government ; but though there must be rules and orders for 
" the proper discharge of the offices of public worship, though 
" there must be fixed regulations concerning the appointment 
" of ministers ; and though a subordination among them is 

' " Ecclesias Reformatas etsi in aliquibas a nostra Anglicana dissentientes, 
libenter aniplector. Optarem equidem regimen episoopale. . . . etabiis omni- 
bus fiiisset retentum. . . . Interim absit ut ego tam ferrei pectoris sim, nt ob 
ejusmodi defectum (sic mihi absque omni in>'idia appellare liceat) aliquas earum 
a communione nostra abscindendas credam ; aut, cum quibusdam furiosis inter 
nos scriptorihus, eas nulla vera ac valida sacramenta babere, adeoque vix Chris- 
tianos esse pronuntiem." Mosberm, by Maclaine, vol. 6. p. 184, ed. 1826. 
And in a letter to Fatber Courayer, dated July 9, 1724, he again expresses the 
same sentiments. Mosberm, ib. p. 30, Cent, xviii. § 23. 

2 Answ. to Mayhew, p. 68. Life prefixed to Sermons, ed. 1770. p. kvi. 

» Serm. vol. 6. pp. 400, 401. 


" expedient in the highest degree, yet it does not follow, that 
" all these things must be precisely the same in every Chris- 
" tian country ; they may vary with the other varying circum- 
" stances of human society, with the extent of a country, the 
" manners of its inhabitants, the nature of its civil govern- 
" ment, and many other peculiarities which might be speci- 
" tied. As it has not pleased our Almighty Father to prescribe 
" any particular form of civil government for the security of 
" temporal comforts to His rational creatures, so neither has 
" He prescribed any particular form of ecclesiastical polity as 
" absolutely necessary to the attainment of eternal happiness 
" .... As the Scriptures do not prescribe any definite form 
" of church-government, so they contain no directions con- 
" cerning the establishment of a power by which ministers are 
" to be admitted to their sacred office." And therefore, though 
he advocates Episcopal Ordination as "instituted by the 
Apostles," he does not maintain it as necessary.^ 

I close the list with the testimony of our late respected 
primate, Dr. Howley. 

In a statement published by his authority in 1841, the 
Foreign Protestant Non-episcopal Churches are spoken of as 
" the less perfectly constituted of the Protestant Churches of 
Europe." ^ 

And in 1835, a letter was addressed by the same prelate, in 
the name of himself and his " brother bishops/* to " the Mode- 
rator of the Company of Pastors at Geneva," expressing their 
" high respect for the Protestant Churches on the Continent" 
and speaking of the Genevan Refoiination as " a noble achieve- 
" ment, which brought light out of darkness, and rescued 
" your Church from the shackles of Papal domination and the 
" tyrannical imposition of a corrupt faith, and a superstitious 
" ritual," wrought by " illustrious men, who, under the direc- 
" tion of Almighty God, were the instruments of this happy 
" deliverance," " an event not less glorious to Geneva than 
" conducive to the success of the Reformation." 

* ToMLrsE's Expos, of Art. 23. ed. 1799. pp. 396—398. 

* Statem. resp. Jerusalem Bishopric, p. 5. 

Y 2 


As it respects that which is cssenliat to the beiriff of a 
Church, the case is well stated by the excellent Dr. Claget 
(so highly commended by Archbishop Sharp'), in his exami- 
nation of Ikllarmine's seventh note of the Church, viz. " the 
" union of the members among themselves, and with the 
" Head." Having pointed out seven " grounds and notions of 
Church-unity," which " ought " all to be in the Church, 
he adds, " But some of them are necessary to the being of the 
" Church ; and they are, the acknowledgment of the one Lord, 
" the profession of the one faith, and admission into the state of 
" Christian duties and ])rivilcge8 by one baptism. And this 
" is all that I can find absolutehj necessary to the beiny of a 
" Church ; inasmuch as the Apostle says, ' That we are all 
'* baptized into one body.' And therefore, so far as unity in 
" these things is spread and obtains in the world, so far and 
" no farther is the body of the Church propagated, because 
" it is one by this unity. . . . The Church of England. . . . 
" doth not unchurch those parts of Christendom that hold 
" the unity of the faith. . . . From hence, also, the folly of that 
" conceit may be easily discerned, that, in this divided state 
** of Christendom, there must be one Church, which is the 
" only Church of Christ, exclusively to all the rest that are not 
" in communion with her ; which is as much as to say. That 
" because there is not that unity amongst Christians which 
" there ought to be, therefore there is none at all ; and 
" because they are not united in one communion, therefore 
" they are not united in one Lord, one faith, one baptism."^ 

There is a great difference in a body of men wanting some 
of those things that are requisite to the perfection of a 
Church, and not being a Church at all. 

These remarks of Dr. Claget naturally lead me to notice a 
case which our preceding observations have not touched. 

What we have hitherto said, refers only to such cases as 
those of the Foreign Reformed Churches, and the Church of 

* See Life of Archbishop Sharp. 

2 Claget's Brief discourse concerning the notes of the Church, pp. 166 — 9, 
or as reprinted in Bishop Gibson's Preservative, vol. i. tit. 3. c. 2. pp. 121 — 3; 
and see Dean Sherlock's Vindic. of his Disc cone, the notes of the Church. 


Scotland ; not to schismatical Ordinations performed by 
presbyters or others in an Episcopal Church professing the 
orthodox faith ; and if our observations may be considered 
as showing that the Orders of those Churches, though some- 
what irregular, are not essentially invalid, then it will, of 
course, be granted by all, that the sacraments are valid as 
administered by them. The doctrine of "episcopal grace" 
we shall consider presently. 

But there is also another class of ecclesiastical communities, 
whose case certainly differs from that of those we have just 
been considering, namely, the Protestant Dissenters. With 
respect to these, the language of our opponents is, of course, 
still more severe (as, doubtless, they have laid themselves far 
more open to censure,) than concerning the former. The 
Dissenters appear to be left without hesitation to the un- 
covenanted mercies of God, that is, (whatever our opponents 
may say to the contrary,) to no mercies at all ; for, if a body 
of men living in the midst of the Christian Church, and 
professing to belong to it, have acted so as to put themselves 
beyond the pale of all God's covenanted mercies, it is a mere 
evasion, for the purpose of avoiding a charge of uncharitable- 
ness, to insinuate that they may find mercy in a way that has 
not been promised. Let those who say this, take heed by 
what rule they are measuring God's covenant. 

This is a painful subject to discuss, nor is it pertinent to 
our present subject to do more than briefly touch upon it ; 
but whatever censures may belong to those who cause needless 
divisions in a Church, especially where there is a really 
schismatical spirit and temper, which surely is no trifling sin, 
I feel bound to protest against the doctrine of our opponents 
on the subject. 

The Tractators seem to argue thus, that because, from the 
first, certain persons were set apart as pastors and teachers for 
the Church, who were to ordain others to the same office, 
therefore the ministry of the word and sacraments is so 
exclusively in the hands of those persons that have been 
set apart for that pui-pose in a way accordant with the antient 


custom of theChurch,that,l>ut for tljeirministration8,thepeople 
must be altogether destitute of the means of grace and all 
Christian privileges. But the latter is by no means a conse- 
quence of the former. The institution of pastors for the 
Church, is a wise, and useful, and merciful provision for the 
wants of the Church. It docs not show that no one can do 
what they are expressly set apart to do. It only provi(l««, 
that there shall always be some in the Church to perform 
certain duties, and guide the people in spiritoal things. 
True, indeed, it follows from this, that an unnecessary usur- 
pation of the office peculiarly entrusted to them, by laymen, is 
contrary to that good order which ought to reign in the 
Church. Nor can it be denied, that, for individuals to break 
oflF communion with pastors so constituted, under whom the 
providence of God had placed them, and set up pastors for 
themselves, except on the ground of grievous error or serious 
corruptions and abuses such as materially injure the cause of 
true religion, is an act of schism which would have met with 
unqualified condemnation from the Apostles. But it is quite 
another matter to say, that a certain form of church-govern- 
ment and standard of pastoral qualification are essentially and 
per se necessary, so as to be a sine qua non to union with the 
Christian Church. 

What says Hooker on this point ? "Whereupon, because 
" the only object which separateth ours from other religions 
" is Jesus Christ, in whom none but the Church doth believe, 
" and whom none but the Church doth worship, we find that 
" accordingly the Apostles do everywhere distinguish hereby 
" the Church from infidels and from Jews; accounting 'them 
" which call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to be his 
" Church.' If we go lower, we shall but add unto this 
" certain casual and variable accidents, which are not properly 
" of the being, but make only for the happier and better being 
" of the Church of God, either in deed, or in men^s opinions 
" and conceits. This is the error of all Popish definitions that 
" hitherto have been brought. They define not the Church by 
" that which the Church essentially is, but by that wherein 


" they imagine their own more perfect than the rest are. 
" Touching parts of eminency and perfection, parts likewise 
" of imperfection and defect, in the Church of God, they are 
" infinite ; their degrees and differences no way possible to 
" be drawn unto any certain account. There is not the least 
" contention and variance, but it blemisheth somewhat the 
" unity that ought to be in the Church of Christ, which 
" notwithstanding may have not only without offence or 
" breach of concord her manifold varieties in rites and cere- 
" monies of religion, but also her strifes and contentions 
" many times, and that about matters of no small importance, 
" yea, her schisms, factions, and such other evils, whereunto the 
" body of the Church is subject, sound and sick remaining both 
" of the same body, as long as both parts retain, by outward 
" profession, that vital substance of truth, which maketh Chris- 
" tian religion to differ from theirs, which acknowledge not our 
*' Lord Jesus Christ, the blessed Saviour of mankind ; give no 
" credit to his glorious Gospel, and have his Sacraments, the 
" seals of eternal life, in derision."^ And elsewhere, speaking 
more fully on this subject, he says, — " The unity of which 
" visible body and Church of Christ consisteth in that uni- 
" formity, which all several persons thereunto belonging have, 
" by reason of that one Lord whose servants they all profess 
" themselves, that one faith which they all acknowledge, that 
" one baptism wherewith they are all initiated." " We speak 
" now of the visible Church, whose children are signed with 
" this mark, 'one Lord, one faith, one baptism.^ " "All men 
" are, of necessity, either Christians, or not Christians. If 
" by external profession they be Christians, then are they of 
" the visible Church of Christ ; and Christians by extei-nal 
" profession they are all, whose mark of recognizance hath in 
" it those things which we have mentioned.'' ^ 

With regard to their Orders, I freely admit that they must 
be considered as irregular. In Apostolic times the duties of the 
Ministi-y were, under ordinary' circumstances, and in a regu- 

» Hookeh's Eccl. Pol. bk. v. c. 68. 

' Hookee's Eccl. Pol. bk. iii. c. 1. See the wliole eonfexf. 


larly formed Church, only disclmrgcd by those who had re- 
ceived a commisHion, deriving its authority originally from 
Christ, through the Apostles ; and as they were commissioned 
to ordain others to the same office, it may justly be considered, 
that the reyular mode of obtaining the power to fulfil the 
duties of the pastoral office is from those to whom the commis- 
sion has come down by the same authority. A reason must be 
tibown why it should be dej)arted from. And further, the 
onus of proof lies upon them, to show that there was any guffi- 
dent reason for setting up a rival Ministry to that of the 
Church from which they seceded, otherwise their ministry is 
not only irregular, but culpably schismatical. 

But that this necessarily and essentially vitiates and renders 
invalid the administration of the sacraments, and all the 
ministerial acts performed by their pastors, our opponents can 
never prove. The simple fact, that certain persons were com- 
missioned by our Lord to minister in spiritual things to his 
Church, and ordain others to a like office, forms no proof that 
under no circumstances can the word and sacraments be minis- 
tered but by those so appointed. Nor does this view at all tend 
to nullify the use and importance of the ministerial office, nor to 
interfere with the preservation, under all ordinarycircumstances, 
of ecclesiastical order. The same author, TertuUian, who per- 
mits the layman, in the absence of the ordained minister, both 
to baptize and administer the eucharist, says elsewhere, that 
even the presbyter must not baptize without the leave of the 
bishop. And the passage is so appropriate in this place, that 
I will give the reader an extract from it. " The right of giving 
" baptism is possessed by the chief priest, who is the bishop ; 
" then by the presbyters and deacons, but not without the 
" authority of the bishop for the sake of the honour [? order] 
" of the Church, which being preserved, peace is preserved. 
" Otherwise laymen have the right ; for that which is equally 
" received, may equally be given. . . but how much more is the 
" discipline of modesty and orderly behaviour the duty of lay- 
" men, since these things belong to those above them, that 
" they should not assume to themselves the office of episcopacy 


" assigned to bishops. Emulation is the mother of schisms. 
" All things are lawful to me, said the most holy Apostle, but 
" all things are not expedient. Let it suffice that you may use 
" the liberty in cases of necessity, as where the circumstances 
" of the place, time, or person require it. For then the bold- 
" ness of the helper is allowed, when the circumstances of a 
" person in danger force it. Since a man will be guilty of the 
" destruction of another, if he shall have neglected to give 
" what he might freeli/ have given."^ 

Ministration in sacred things is confined to the clergy for 
the sake of ecclesiastical order ; which order as it was ordained 
by God, so a needless infraction of it will doubtless be visited, 
more or less, according to circumstances, with the marks of 
his displeasure ; and the clergy are set apart for that ministry, 
somewhat as the tribe of Levi was set apart for the service of 
the Temple, under the Old Testament. But that there is the 
same distinction between the clergy and the laity, as there was 
between the priests and the laity under the Old Testament, is 
contradicted both by Scripture and Antiquity. 

But the doctrine of our opponents is, that the power of 
giving authority for the exercise of the office of pastor, was 
left by our Lord exclusively in the hands of certain individuals, 
and those appointed by them to succeed them in their office, 
and can never, under any circumstances, devolve upon any 
others ; so that even where the chief pastors of a Church are 
involved in vital error, neither any of the inferior pastors, nor 
even the great body of such a Church, can separate themselves 
from them, and appoint suitable persons to minister the word 

' " Dandi [i. e. baptismum] habet jus sommus Sacerdos, qui est Episcopus ; 
deliinc presbyteri et diaeoni, non tamen sine Episcopi awctoritate propter Ec- 
clesiae honorem [? ordinem], quo salvo, salva }>ax est. AlioqUin etiam laieis 

jus est, quod enim ex aequo accipitur, ex aHi^uo dari potest sed quanto 

magis l^cis disciplina verecundia> et modestiic incumbit, cum ea majoribus 
competant, ne sibi adsumant dicatuni Episcopis officlum Episcopatus. ^mu- 
latio schismatum mater est. Omnia licere, dixit sanctissimus Apostolus, sed 
non onmia expedire. SutHciat scilicet in necessitatibus utaris, sicubi aut loci 
aut temporis aut personte conditio coinpellit. Time enim coustantia succur- 
rentis excipitur, cum urget circumstantia periclitantis. Quoniam reus erit per- 
diti homiuis, si supersederit pra?stare quod libere jiotuit." TEKTru,. De 
bapt. c. 17. pp. 230, 231. 


and sacraments. This, however, is a notion utterly groundless, 
and wholly opposed to the spirit of the Christian Dispensation. 
It ascribes to the clergy of the Episcopal Succession all the 
powers claimed by the most zealous Romanist for the Pope, 
and places the whole Church under their absolute dominion. 
If there is a sufficient reason to justify the people in breaking 
that prescribed ecclesiastical order, and separating themselves 
from their clergy, there is no essential impediment, where 
the necessity of the case requires it, to their appointing some 
from among themselves to fulfil the ministerial function. And 
a sufficient reason there is, if the faith has been corrupted, or 
the terms of communion rendered sinful, or grave corruptions 
materially injuring the cause of Christ predominate ; and hence, 
we doubt not, a secession from the Church of Rome, had it 
been made by laymen only, would have been justifiable; and 
the scceders fully authorized to appoint a Ministry from 
among themselves, (if they had none Apostolically com- 
missioned joining with them in their secession,) and expect 
the Divine blessing upon their ministrations. Such a seces- 
sion would certainly have met with the approbation of 
Cyprian ;^ for although in the case mentioned in the Epistle I 
have referred to below, nothing perhaps took place that was 
uncanonical, because there were bishops at hand to counte- 
nance what was done ; yet the statements and arguments of 
Cyprian are general, and would certainly not have had less 
force, if all the neighbouring bishops had been involved in the 
same errors as the bishops there inculpated. 

Hence the culpability of such separations depends entirely 
upon the circumstances under which they are made ; and such 
bodies, though having none among them Apostolically com- 
missioned, may yet be sound parts of the Church of Christ, 
and certainly parts of that Church partially only defective. 

The consequence is, that the question of union or separation 
is a case of conscience, in which each man must act according 
to the light which he possesses. And though a man may err 
in his decision, and thereby even disturb the peace of the 
Church, and bring much evil upon himself and others, and 
1 Ctpb. Ep. ad cler. et pleb. in Hisp. ; Ep. 68. ed. Pamel. and FelL 


perhaps expose himself to punishment, I should be loath to 
maintain, that if he has acted with sincerity, and holds the 
fundamentals of the faith, and regulates his life correspoud- 
ently, he is not a member of Christ's visible Church ; and 
one, moreover, who is upon the whole in a state of salvation. 

" The true notion of a Church,^' says Dean Sherlock, " is 
" the ccetus Jidelium, or the company of the faithful, of those 
" who profess the true faith of Christ, and are united to 
" him by baptism." — " No Christian can separate from the 
" Catholic church (in this sense of it, as it signifies the whole 
" company and family of Christians, which is the true notion 
'' of the Catholic Church), while he continues a Christian ; 
" for that is a contradiction, to be a Christian and not 
" to belong to the whole number of Christians ; that is, to be 
" a Christian, and to be no Christian : for if he be a Christian, 
" he belongs to the number of Christians, and then be is a 
" member of the Catholic Church, and consequently not a 
" sej)aratist from it. Nothing can separate us from the Catholic 
" Church, but what forfeits our Christianity, either a final 

" apostasy or such heresies as are equivalent to apostasy 

" Schism and separation is a breach of the external and visible 
" communion of the Church, not of the essential unity of it ; 
" the Church is one Church still, whatever breaches and 
" schisms there are in its external communion ; for the unity 
" of the Catholic Church consists in the union of the whole to 
" Christ, which makes them one body in him ; not in the 
" external communion of the several parts of it to each other. 
'* And therefore it is not a separation from one another, but 
" only a separation from Christ, which is a separation from 
" the Catholic Church."^ There may be one Lord, one 
faith, one baptism, to those who are not in external commu- 
nion with one another. There may be, therefore, a spiritual 
relationship, where, through the infirmity of the flesh, that 
relationship is not recognised, and does not issue in commu- 
nion ; just as men may be members of one family, who do not 
live together in friendly communion as of one family. 

' Sherlock's Disc. cone, the nature, unity, and comm. of the Catholic 
Church, pp. 32, 52, 53. 


The doctrine of our Church, therefore, on the Btihject of 
church-govcrnnicnt, may, I hope, be fully maintained, where 
it is not considered to involve any Huch anatheman as our 
opponents launch against those who have separated from her 
communion, or to consign any to (iod's " uncovenanted 
mercies/' who are sound in the fundamentals of the faith, and 
of a life correspondent to their professed faith, however erro- 
neous may be their notions of ecclesiastical polity. 

There is a great difference between a Church laying down 
articles of communion for her own members, such as may be 
required for the preservation of what she considers to Ije 
important in doctrine and polity in her own communion, and 
her making the maintenance of those articles necessary to 
every Christian community as a sine qua non to their being 
recognised as part of the orthodox Church of Christ. For the 
latter, I conceive, such only should be laid down as may be 
considered to be points simply and absolutely fundamental 
and necessary to salvation. For otherwise we unchurch those 
w horn we dare not deny that Christ may own as his followers ; 
which seems to me worse than absurd. 

Here, then, I leave the case which we are now consider- 
ing, as I have no inclination to find apologies for any need- 
less schisms and divisions. Let it not be supposed, that 
in the remarks we have just offered there was any wish to 
throw a shield over such irregularities, or to make light of 
unnecessary divisions in the Church. Far from it. We believe 
them to be sinful. Nay more ; the evils inherent in schism 
and forms of church-government devised by the fancy of man 
are such as generally bring their own punishment with them 
in this world. There is not the same stability in such com- 
munions. They are the rendezvous for men of unquiet and 
turbulent spirits, whose influence upon their respective com- 
munities is anything but favourable to genuine piety, and 
even the peace of society. They are, many of them, for the 
sake, as it is admitted, of non-essentials, impeding the pro- 
gress of that cause which they profess to have most at 

Surely of such we must say, in the words of Irenaeus, " God 


" will judge those who produce schisms, who are destitute of 
" the love of God, contemplating their own profit, and not the 
" unity of the Church, and for the sake of small and trifling 
" causes, dividing and splitting into parts the great and glorious 
" body of Christ, and, as far as in them lies, slaying it ; who 
" have peace in their mouth and war in their acts, who in very 
" deed strain at a gnat and swallow a camel." ^ 

We neither agree, therefore, with those who leave them to 
the uncovenanted mercies of God, nor with those who are 
countenancing them in their mistaken course. 

But, one thing I must be permitted to add with regard to 
our own case, namely, that so far as our opponents are allowed 
to be successful in introducing into our Church the corrupt 
doctrines and practices of the Church of Rome, so far will there 
be afforded additional grounds of justification to those who 
have departed from its commuuioDj and so far will the respect 
and affection of those who as yet remain attached to it, be 
fundamentally and justly alienated from it. And greatly does 
it concern those who have power either in Church or State, to 
take heed, lest to the great practical abuses by which chiefly 
our Church has lost the afi'ections of so large a portion of the 
people, there be added corruptions more deeply afiiecting its 
claims upon public regard. 

I proceed to notice the remaining portion of our opponents' 
doctrine on this subject. 

Whether the grace of the sacraments ordinarily comes only 
through the sacraments, is a question which, however impor- 
tant in itself, I need not now discuss ; for, whether it is so or 
not, our opponents' doctrine on the point now under con- 
sideration has been met and, I hope, refuted on other grounds. 
In this place, therefore, I pass it over. 

1 ^KvoKpivft 5^ Tovi rk irx^c/iaTo fpya^ofxtyovs, Ktrovs Syras Trjs rov Stov iyi- 
irrjs, Kol t6 tSiOV Auj-tTfAcs aKoxovyras, oAA^ fiij r}]y (vwffLV t-^j iKKX-qaias- koI 
5ji fiiKpiis Kal tAs v\pov(ras [rvxovaas^ curias rb fifya Kol (fSo^oy awfui rov 
XpiffTov Tffiyovras Kal Siaipovin-as, Kal Saov rb iir' avTo7s ayatpovyras' rovs 
flprjyjjy Kakovyras, Kal ir6\iiJ.ov epya^ofxtyovs, a\r)0uis 5«0A.(^oKTas rhy Kwvunta, 
rbv 5* Kdfi.r)\oy KaTaniyoyras. Iken. Adv. ha^r. lib. iv. c. 33. ed. Mass. p. 272. 
(c. 62. pp. 359, 60, ed. Grab.) 


ll\it, there remains for consideration what I have mentioned 
as the 

Second point to be noticed in the doctrine of our oppo- 
nents on this subject, namely, their notion of "episcopal 
grace;" which is, as I have already stated,' that by Episcopal 
Ordination (such, that is, as they maintain to be the only 
valid kind) there is conferred in all cases the gift of the Holy 
Spirit to abide in the person ordained, " as for all other parts 
" of his office, no for the custody of the good deposit, thefunda- 
"menials of doctrine and practice," which is called, "the 
" doctrine of ministerial grace derived by succession from the 
" Apostles," or, the doctrine of " episcopal grace ;" though of 
course it is admitted, that a person may receive this grace in 
vain, and after receiving it, be " liable to error, and heresy, 
and apostasy." (p. 105.) And Mr. Keble elsewhere states, 
that "the obvious meaning of 2 Tim. i. 11, is, that the trea- 
" sure of sound doctrine was to be guarded by the grace of the 
" Apostolical Succession." " Apostolical or episcopal grace 
" is, by God's ordinance, the guardian of sound doctrine ; the 
" Spirit abiding in Timothy is to watch incessantly the deposit 
" or trust of divine truth left in his charge ; and where the 
" one, the Succession, fails, there, as this verse would lead us 
" to expect, and as all Church-history proves, the other, the 
" truth of doctrine, is immediately in imminent jeopardy." ^ 

Now, thus much we readily grant, that, the Christian 
Ministry being of God's own appointment, and intended for 
continuance to the end of time, for the edification of his 
Church, (Eph. iv. 1] — 13,) we may humbly hope, that God's 
blessing will more or less rest upon it, and his Spirit be vouch- 
safed, to enable those who are called to that work to fulfil it so 
as to accomplish his purposes. And in each portion of the 
Church such an expectation might reasonably be entertained 
from the first on behalf of its pastors, until facts should seem 
to show, that such blessing was withdrawn. 

But that He has tied his gifts to the acts and appointments 
of man, so that they are only bestowed in one precise channel, 

» See pp. 248, 249 above. 

2 Keblk's Serin, pp. 42, 44 ; nnd see p. 51. 


we have no ground for affirming. And lience Bishop Jewel 
rebukes Harding for supposing, that " unto such Succession 
God hath bound the Holy Ghost," when, " by Succession, 
" Christ saith, Desolation shall sit in the Holy Place, and 
" Antichrist shall press into the room of Christ ;" and to the 
remark, that " Succession is the chief way for any Christian 
man to avoid Antichrist," (which seems to be precisely Mr. 
Keble's view,) he replies, " I grant you, if you mean the succes- 
sion of DOCTRINE." ^ Supposing that our opponents' whole 
scheme was precisely laid down by our Lord himself, it follows 
not, that there may not be a general corruption of doctrine, 
among the pastors so appointed, and that others not so 
appointed may minister in sacred things acceptably in their 
place in consequence of their defection ; and by their doctrine 
(as I shall shosv presently) the Fathers held that they were to 
be tried, whether they were truly successors of the Apostles. 

But these words of Mr. Keble clearly imply, that wherever 
the Apostolical Succession is preserved, there, in every Ordi- 
nation, the Holy Spirit is given, to abide in the ordained for 
the preservation of the fundamentals of the faith; and that 
where the Apostolical Succession has failed, there (though 
they may by possibility be preserved for a time) we cannot, to 
say the least, expect to find them, and they are left as it were 
to accident, persons in such a situation not being recognised 
as any part of the Church. 

Now this goes beyond what some even of the most 
strenuous Romish advocates for the Apostolical Succession 
contend for ; for Bellarmine himself, though he makes such 
Succession a necessary note of the Church, does not make it 
a sure and infallible note, as this would do. But it is neither 
one nor the other, for it will not, I suppose, be denied, that 
there may be soundness in the fundamentals of the faith 
where that Succession is not to be found, and therefore it is 
no distinctive note of the Church, ^Vhat says even Arch- 
bishop Laud ? " For Succession in the general I shall say 
" this. It is a great happiness where it may be had visible 
> Jewel's Def. of Apol. Pt. ii. ch. 5. div. 1. Works, p. 139. 


" and continued ; and a great conquest over the mutability of 
" this present world. But 1 do not find any one of the 
" antient Fathers that makes local, personal, visible, and con- 
** tinued Succession a necessary sign or mark of the true 
" Church in any one place." And he adds, that Stapleton, 
in saying that " sound doctrine is indivisible from true and 
lawful Succession/' had "forsaken truth." ^ 

Nay, does not the history of the Church present us with 
instances where the fundamentals of the faith have not been 
preserved, and yet the ojitward Succession has remained unim- 
paired, as in the case of the Arians ? 

Will it be said, then, that in such a case the Holy Spirit is 
still given to abide in a man for the preservation of the 
fundamentals of the faith, when both the ordained and the 
ordainer are in error in the fundamentals ? For instance, when 
Arians ordained Arians, was the Holy Spirit necessarily given 
by that Ordination to abide in the person ordained, for the 
preservation of the fundamentals of the faith, because the 
person ordaining had the true Apostolical Succession, and 
pronounced the words, Receive the Holy Ghost ? Such a 
proposition is surely too monstrous to be entertained for a 
moment. It follows, then, that the Holy Spirit is not always 
thus given through Ordinations performed strictly according 
to the Apostolical Succession. And if not, then the question 
is thrown open. When is it given ? And we are not to eon- 
elude, that whenever men use the words, " Receive the Holy 
Ghost," though they may be, in external appointment, suc- 
cessors of the Apostles, there the gift of the Holy Ghost 
necessarily follows. That thus the ordained have authority 
given them to exercise the duties and functions of the ministry 
without any infraction of ecclesiastical order, and that God 
will receive the services of his people rendered through their 
ministrations, may be quite true, but that they necessarily re- 
ceive such a gift as Mr. Keble supposes, is affirmed without 
evidence and contradicted by facts. 

I know not, indeed, how we can have any right to expect 
' Laud's Answer to Fisher, § 39. n. 7, 8. pp. 249, 250. e<L 1686. 


more than tliat the Holy Spirit should give to each man severally 
''as he will ;" or that we can affirm, that all the declarations 
of our Lord and his Apostles are not fully accomplished, if, 
amidst all those who are admitted to the office of the ministry, 
the Spirit is given, in the manner spoken of by Mr. Keble, in those 
cases only where God sees fit to give so great a blessing. I 
know of no promise that, whatever may be the character or 
conduct of the parties concerned, such a blessing shall be con- 
ferred in all cases where Ordination is canouically performed. 
And the argument that, because our Lord promised his 
Apostles to be with them even unto the end of the world, 
therefore he is present with all those canonically ordained by 
outward succession from the Apostles, is not worth answering. 
To assume that our Lord in these words spake to the Apostles, 
only as the representatives of the pastors of the Church, and 
not as the representatives of his disciples generally, is, to say 
the least, unwarranted, and to me appears much more. And 
thus thought Bishop Pearson, for he has expounded the pro- 
mise as one applying to the Church at large, following more- 
over in this the interpretation given to the passage by Ijco 
and Augustine.^ Equally untenable is the notion, that the gift 
conferred upon Timothy, by the imposition of St. Paul's hands, 
must necessarily be equally conferred by any canonical Ordi- 
nation performed now. 

In fact, as to Scriptural arguments for such a doctrine, 
there can be no pretence made to them. And, therefore, its 
supporters wisely take refuge in the Fathers, where, from 
their number, variety of sentiment, ignorance of the various 
controversies by which the Chmch would be agitated, rheto- 
rical and inaccurate mode of expressing themselves, some 
semblance of defence may be found for almost any doctrine 
that can be started. 

But we need not fear to meet them even here. And I 
would ask our opponents, where are the passages by which 
they can show, that the Fathers held their notion on this 
point, that is, that Ordination, where given through the strict 

' Peahson's Exposition of the Creed, Article ix. eU. Dobson, p. 512. 
VOL. 11. Z 

338 THE Clllllsn.W RELIOIOV 

Apostolical Succession, ensures in all cases the gift of the Holy 
Spirit to abide in the ordained person for the custody of the 
fundamentals of doctrine and practice ? I am not aware that 
such a doctrine was ever thought of by the primitive Fatln i >-, 
and therefore until they have given some respectable testimony 
on the subject, it is sufficient to meet their assertion with a 

But, as it appears to mc, what is included and implied in 
this doctrine is of more consequence than the doctrine itself, 
and therefore to meet what seems to be implied, though not 
clearly expressed, in the statements of Mr. Keble on this 
point, I would direct the reader's attention to the following 
passages from some of the best of the Fathers, showing that, 
in their view, 

(1) The Apostolical Succession, in the sense of a succession 
of persons only, does not secure to a Church soundness in the 
fundamentals of the faith, and that those who have not the 
latter, though they have the former, are to be avoided. 

(2) That the only absolutely essential point is doctrinal 
succession, or the holding the same faith the Apostles did ; 
and that where that faith is held, there, though perhaps lab<jur- 
ing under irregularities and imperfections in other respects, 
Christ's Church is to be found, and consequently the presence 
of his Spirit. 

1. That Apostolical Succession, in the sense of a succession 
of persons only, does not secure to a Church soundness in the 
fundamentals of the faith, and that those who have not the 
latter, though they have the former, are to be avoided. 

And all impartial readers will, I think, admit, that if this 
is the case, then the notion, that the Apostolical Succession 
secures in all Ordinations the gift of the Holy Spirit to abide 
in a person for the preservation of the fundamentals, falls to 
the gi'ound, whatever nice distinctions may be drawn to prop 
it up. 

I begin with Tertullian, whose great argument in his 
Treatise " De Prsescript." is, that the doctrine of the Apo- 
stolical Churches, to which he refers against the heretics, was 
in all likelihood the true one, because those Churches agreed 


together in it, the heretics having no such argument to pro- 
duce ; but if Apostolical Succession is a sure test of orthodoxy 
in fundamentals, he would not have troubled himself to point 
to their agreement, biit at once have put it upon the ground 
of their succession. Nay more, in this treatise he asks, " Do 
we prove the faith by persons, or persons by the faith V * Nay, 
he directly affirms what we maintain, when, having spoken of 
the Succession in the Churches of Smyrna and Rome, &c., he 

says, " Let the heretics make out anything like this 

" Nay, even if they should do so, they tvill have done nothing. 
" For their doctrine when compared with the Apostolical will 
" show from its diflference and contrariety that it has neither 
" an Apostle nor a disciple of the Apostles for its author ; for 
" as the Apostles would not have differed from one another in 
" their teaching, so neither would the disciples of the Apostles 
" have preached a different doctrine from that of the Apostles, 
" unless those who were taught by the Apostles preached 
" otherwise than they were taught. By this test, therefore, 
" they shall be tried by those Churches which, although they 
" can produce no Apostle or disciple of the Apostles as their 
" author, as being of much later origin, and such indeed are 
" daily formed, yet, agreeing in the same faith, are considered 
" as not less Apostolical on account of tJte con»anguinity of their 
" doctrine." - 

Thus also speaks Irenseus, in a passage, the beginning of 
which, abstracted from the context, has been quoted in favour 
of opposite views, but how unfairly any one who peruses the 

• " Ex personis pi-obamus fidem, an ex fiile personas ?" c. 3. p. 203. 

2 " Confiiigant tale aliquid liwretici . . . Sed etsi con finxerint, nihil promove- 
biint. Ipsa enim doetrina eoniin cum Apostolica coniparata, ex tliversitate et 
contrarietate sua pronuntiabit, neque Apostoli alicujus auctoris esse neque 
Apostoliei : quia sicut Apostoli non diversa inter se docuissent, ita et Apostolici 
non contnuia Apostolis edidissent, nisi illi qui ab Apoetolia ditlicerunt aliter 
prtedicavenrnt. Ad banc itaque fonuam probabuntur ab illis Eoclesiis quae 
licet nullum ex Apostolis vel Apostolicis auctorem suura proferant, ut multo 
posteriores, quae . denique quotidie instituuntur, tamen in eadem fide conspi- 
rantes non minus AjwstolicjB deputantur pro consanguinitate doctrime." Teb- 
TULi. De Pra?script. haret. c. 32. Op. etl. lG6-t. p. 213. So further on he .says, 
" Unde autem extranei et iuiuiici Apostolis hteretici, nisi ex divci-sitate doc- 
trine." c. 37. p. 21G. 

z .2 


whole passage will at once sec. " Wherefore/' he says, " we 
" ought to obey those presbyters who are in the Churcli, 
" those I mean who have succession from the Apostles as we 
" have shown, who with the succession of the episcopate have 
" received according to the good pleasure of the Father the 
" sure gift of truth .... But they who are looked upon by 
" many as presbyters, but serve their own pleasures, and do 
** not in their hearts make the fear of God their rule, but pcr- 
" secute others with reproaches, and are elated with pride at 
*' their exaltation to the chief sent, and secretly do evil, and say, 
" ' No one seeth us,* shall be reproved by the Word .... 
" From all guch it behoves us to stand aloof, and to cleave to 
" those who, as I have said before, both retain the DOCTniNE of 
" THE Apostles and with the order of the presbytership [or as 
" others read, of a presbyter] exhibit soundness in word and a 
" blameless conversation for the edification and correction of the 
" rest." ^ Here, then, are evidently two sorts of successors of 
the Apostles, and from one of them we are directed to hold 
ourselves aloof. 

Next, let us hear Ambrose. " Christ," saith he, " is the 
" only one whom no one ought, under any circumstances, 
" to forsake or exchange for another.*' And then, having bid- 
den us seek the faith in the Church first, he adds, " in which 
" if Christ dwells, it is beyond doubt to be chosen by us ; but 
** if an unfaithful people or an heretical teacher defiles the 
" place, the communion of heretics is to be avoided, their 
" place of assembly to be shunned . . . If there is any Church 

' " Quapropter eis qui in Ecolcaia sunt Presbyteris obandire oportet, bis qui 
successionem habent ab Aixjstolis, sicut ostendimus; qui cum episcopatus 
successione cbarisma veritatis certum secundum placitum Patris acceperunt 

Qui vero crediti quidem sunt a multis esse presbyteri, 8er\-iunt 

autem suis volujitatibus, et non praeponunt timorem Dei in cordibus suis, sed 
eontumeliis agunt reliquos, et principalis consessionis tumore elati simt, et in 

absconsis agunt mala, et dicunt. Nemo nos videt, redarguentur a Verbo 

Ab omnibus igitur talibus absistere oportet ; adhserere vero his qui et Apo- 
stolorum sicut praediximus doctrinam custodiunt, et cum presbyterii [presby- 
teri] ordine sermonem sanum et conversationem sine offensa prsestant ad infor- 
mationem et correctionem reliquorum." Ieex. Adv. haer. lib. iv. c. 26. ed. 
Mass. pp 2G2, 263. (cc. 43, 4A. pp. 343, 4. ed. Grab.) 


" which rejects the faith, and does not possess the fundamentals of 
" the doctrine of the Apostles . . it is to be deserted" ^ 

Thus also speaks Augustine ; — '' We ought to find the 
" Church, as the Head of the Church, in the Holy Canonical 
" Scriptures, not to inquire for it in the various reports, and 
*' opinions, and deeds, and words, and visions of men."* 
" Whether they [i. e. the Donatists] hold the Church, they 
" must show by the Canonical books of the Divine Scriptures 
*' alone ', for we do not say, that we must be believed because 
" we are in the Church of Christ, because Optatus of Milevi, 
" or Ambrose of Milan, or innumerable other bishops of our 
" communion, commended that Church to which we belong, 
'' or because it is extolled by the Councils of our colleagues, or 
" because through the whole world in the holy places which 
" those of our communion frequent such wonderful answers 
" to prayer or cures happen. . . . Whatever things of this kind 
" take place in the Catholic Church, are therefore to be 
" approved of because they take place in the Catholic Church ; 
" but it is not proved to be the Catholic Church, because these 
'- things happen in it. The Lord Jesus himself when he had 
" risen from the dead .... judged that his disciples were to be 
" convinced by the testimonies of the Law and the Prophets 

" and the Psalms Tliese are the proofs, these tJie founda- 

" Hum, these the supports of our cause. We read ui the Acts 
" of the Apostles of some who believed, that they searched the 
" Scriptures daily, whether those things were so. What 
" Scriptures but the Canonical Scriptures of the Law and the 

• " Hie [i. e. Christus] est igitur solus quem nemo debet deserere, nemo 

'^utai'e Fides igitur imprimis Ecclesia? qua?renda mandatur, in qua 

si Christus habitator sit, baud dubie sit It^enda ; sin vero perfidus populus 
aut proDceptor ba;reticus deformet habitacolum, vitanda bareticorum com- 
munio, fugienda Syuagt^ ceusetur .... Si qua est Ecclesia qme fidem 
respuat, nee Apostolic^ prajdicationis fundamenta possideat, ne quam labem 
perfidia? possit ^Ispcrgere, desereuda est." Ambbos. In Luc. lib. vi. § 68. 
(In c. 9, V. 4.) Op. ed. Ben. tom. i. col. 1399. 

2 « Quam [i. e. Ecclesiam] sicut ipsum caput in Scriptiuis Sanctis Canonids 
debemus agnoscere, non in variis hominum nmioribus et opinionibus et factis et 
dictis et visis inquirere." August. Contr. Douat. Ep. (vu]g. De unitate eccles.) 
c. 19. Op. tom. Ls. col. 372. 


" Propbets ? To these have been added the GoMpel8, the 
"Apostolical Epistles, the Acts of the Apostles, the Ai)oca- 
" lypse of John."' 

Lastly, the author of the fragment of an Kxpouition of 
St. Matthew, attributed to Chrysostom, and admitted by 
many of the Romanists themselves to be the work of no mean 
hand, speaks thus, and a very remarkable passage it is ; — It is 
on the words, " When ye shall see the abomination of de»o- 
" latiou standing in the holy place, then let them which are 
" in Judea flee to the mountains," vrbich our author thu» 
expounds ; — " That is, when ye shall see the impious heresy, 
'* which is the army of Antichrist, standing in the holy places 
" of the Church, then let those who are in Judea flee to the 
*' mountains ; that is, let Christians betake themselves to the 
*' Scriptures .... The mountains are the Scriptures of the 
" Apostles or Prophets. . . . And why docs he bid all Christians 
" at that time to betake themselves to the Scriptures 't Be- 
" cause, at that time, when heresy hath got possession of 
" those Churches, there can be no proof of true Christianity, 
" nor any other refuge for Christians wishing to know the 
" true faith, but the divine Scriptures. For before, it was 
" shown in many ways which was the Church of Christ, and 
" which heathenism ; but now, it is known in no way to those 
" who wish to ascertain which is the true Church of Christ, 

> " Sed utrmn ijisi Ecclesiam teneant, non iiisi de dhinarum Scriptaranini 
cauonicis libris osteniLuit ; quia nee noe propterea dicimos nobis credi oportere 
quod in Ecclesia Christi suinus, quia ipeam quam tenemos commendavit 
Milevitanus Optatus vel Mediolanensis Ambroeiiis, vel alii innumerabiles noetrae 
commimiouis episcopi ; aut quia nostrorum collegarum conciliis ipsa praedicata 
est; aut quia per totum orbem in locis Sanctis qua; fretjaentat nostra com- 
niunio, tanta niirabilia vel exauditionxun vel sanitatum fiunt. . . . Quaecunque 
tidia in Catholica fiunt, idee sunt approbanda, quia in Catholica fiunt; non 
ideo ipsa manifestatur Catholica, quia bsec in ea fiunt. Ipse Dominus Jesus cum 
resurrexisset a mortuis. . . . eos [i. e. discipulosj testimoniis L^is et Propheta- 
rum et Psalmorum confirmandos esse judicavit. . . . Haec sunt caussae nostrse 
documenta, hsec fundamenta, haec firmamenta. Legimus in Actibus Apostolorum 
dictum de quibusdam credentibus, quod quotidie scrutarentur Scripturas an 
haec ita se haberent ; quas utique Scripturas nisi canonicas Legis et Propheta- 
rum ? Hue accesseruut EvaugeUa, Apostolicje Epistolse, Actus Ajxistolonmi, 
Apocalypsis Johannis." Id. ib. col. 373. 


" but only through the Scriptures. "\A1iy ? Because all those 
" things which are properly Christ's in the truth, those heresies 
" have also in their schism ; Churches alike, the divine Scrip- 
" tures themselves alike, bishops alike, and the other Orders of 
" the clergy, baptism alike, the Eucharist alike, and everything 
" else ; nay, even Christ himself [i. e. the same in name] . 
" Therefore, if any one wishes to ascertain which ia the true 
" Church of Christ, whence can he ascertain it, in the confu- 
" sion arising from so great a similitude, but only by the 
" Scriptures ?. . . , Therefore the Lord, knowing that such a 
" confusion of things would take place in the last days, coui- 
" mands, on that account, that the Christians who are in 
" Christianity, and desirous of availing themselves of the 
" strength of the true faith, should betake themselves to 
" nothing else but the Scriptures. Otherwise, if they shall 
" look to other things, they shall stumble and perish, not 
" understanding which is the true Chui'ch. And through this 
" they shall fall upon the abomination of desolation, which 
" stands in the holy places of the Church."^ 

' " Id est, cum videritis hseresim impiaiu qiu/e est exercitus Antidiritti ituiteia 
in locid Sanctis Ecclesia?, in illo tempore qui in Juda>a sunt iiigiant ad niont«t, 
id est, qui sunt in Christiunitate conferaut se ad Scripturaii. . . . Monies antem 
siuit ScriptursB Apostolorum aut I'rophetanmi. . . . Et quare jubet in hoe tern- 
jwre omnes Cbristiauos cont'erre se ad Scripturas ? Quia in tempore hoc, ex 
quo obtinuit hu-'resia illas eeclesias, nulla probatio jwtest esse verse Christiaiiitatls, 
ueque relugium potest esse Christianorum aliud, volentium cognoecere fidei 
veritatem, nisi Scriptural divinse. Antea euim multis modis ostendebatur quae 
esset Ecclesia Christi et qiuD Gentilitas ; nimc autem nullo modo cognoscitur 
volcntibus cognoscere quaj sit vera Ecclesia Christi nisi tantiuumodo per 
Scriptm-as. Quare ? Quia omnia ha?c qua? sunt proprie Christi in veritate, 
habent et ha-reses ilia; in Schismatc; similiter eeclesias, similiter et ipsas 
Scripturas divinas, similiter episeoiws, ca-terosque ordines clericorum, similiter 
bajjtismum, aliter [similiter or atque is evidently required by the context] 
eucharistiam et Lwt<;ra omnia, denique ijjeum Christum. Voleus ergo quis 
cognoscere qua; sit vera Ecclesia Christi, unde cognoscat, in tanta; coniiisione 

siniilitudinis, nisi tautummodo per Scripturas ? Sciens ergo Dominus 

tantam confusionem rcruui in noN-issimis diebus esse futuram, ideo inandat, 
ut Christiam qui sunt in Christianitate volentes fimiitatem accipere fidei vera; 
ad nullam rem fugiant nisi ad Scriptm-as. Alioqui si ad alia respexerint, 
scandidizabmitm* et i>eribunt, non intelligentes quw sit vei-a Ecclesia. Et per 
hoc incident in abominationcm desolationis qua; stat in Sanctis Ecclesia; locib." 


Surely he who wrote tliis was a propliet indeed ! Well might 
the Roman Inquisition put thirt work into their Index of pro- 
liibitedbookH; ^ and rase this passage, as far as they could, by 
Ik'llarniine's own confession, out of even the MSS.** 

(2) That the only absolutely essential point is doctrinal 
Huccession; that is, the holding the same faith the Apostles did ; 
and that where that faith is held, there, though perhaps 
labouring under irregularities and imperfections in other re- 
spects, Christ's Church is to be found, and consequently the 
presence of his Spirit. 

The passages we have already quoted, clearly show, that 
whatever regard the Fathers had for the Apostolical Succes- 
sion, they did not hold that its presence was a sure indication 
of the presence of Apostolical doctrine; and that the former 
was of no value without the latter. 

But it may be asked, Is the latter sufficient to make men 
members of the Church of Christ without the former ? It is a 
point on which we can hardly expect to find a definite and ex- 
press decision in the early Fathers, on account of the general 
prevalence of the episcopal form of government. But, never- 
theless, there are many passages from which we may fairly 
infer their mind on the question. 

"The Church," says Jerome, "does not depend upon 
" walls, but upon the truth of its doctrines. The Church 
" is there, where the true faith is. But about fifteen or twenty 
" years ago, heretics possessed all the walls of the Churches 
" here. For, twenty years ago, heretics possessed all these 
" Churches. But the true Church was there, where 
" the true faith was.*' ' A good answer this, by the way, 

Opus Imperf. iu Matth. horn. 49. Inter Chetsost. Op. torn. \i. App. p. 204. 
See also bom. 43. p. 183, where he says, " Cathedra non fecit sacerdotem, sed 
sacerdos cathedram." 

' See Index Anctoruni et libr. qui ab Officio S. Rom. et Univ. Inquisit. 
caveri ab omnibus &e. mandantur. Eom. 1559. 4to. Under letter 0. 

^ De Verb. Dei, lib. iv. c. 11. This passage, also, is omitted iu one, if not 
more, of the Romish editions of the book, viz., that printed Paris, 1557. 
8ro. See James's Corruption of SS. and Fathers. Part ii. n. 2. p. 168. ed. 

3 " Ecck'sia non piirietibus consistit, sod in dogmatum vcritate. Ecclesia ibi 


to the common question of the Romanists to the Protestant 
Churches, where their Church was before Luther. 

Kcraarkable, also, is the testimony of Gregory Nazianzen 
on this subject, in his Encomium on Athanasius. Speaking of 
him as the successor of Mark in the episcopal throne of Alex- 
andria, he says ; — He was " not less the successor of Mark in 
" his piety, than in his presidential seat ; in the latter, indeed, 
" he was very far distant from him ; but in the former, he is 
" found next after him ; which, in truth, is properly to be con- 
" sidered succession. For, to hold the same doctrine is to be of 
" the same throne ; but to hold an opposite doctrine, is to be of 
" an opposite throne. And the one has the name, but the other 
" the reality of succession. For, not he who has come in by 
" force, but he who has been forced in, is a successor ; nor he 
" who has violated the laws, but he who has been advanced 
" legally ; nor he who holds an opposite doctrine, but he who 
" is of the same faith. Unless any one can thus call himself a 
" successor, he succeeds as sickness to health, as darkness to 
" light, as a storm to a calm, and as madness to intelligence." ^ 

So the author of the commentar)' on Matthew above quoted 
says, — " Where the faith, there the Church is ... . but where 
"the faith is not, there the Church is not."- And again; 
— " He does not seem to go out of the Church who goes out 

est, ubi fides vera est. Caeterum ante annos quindeeim aut \4giiiti, parietfls 
omnes liic ecclesiarmn hfieretiei possidebaut. Aiite vigiuti enim annoe oumes 
ecclesias has lia>retici possidebant. Ecclesia autem vera illic erat, ubi verm 
fides erat," Hiekon. in Psalm. 133. (Heb. num.) v. 1. Op. ed. Vallars. 1766. 
torn. vii. Append. 

' Ovx ^TTOV rris fvffffidas f) irpofSplas SidSoxos- ry fniy yiip -roWoarhs kw' 
iKfiyov, rij Si (v6vs /x(t' iictivov fvpiffKfTcu, ^y Stj km Kvplais inroXtfrrioy SiaSoxvi>' 
Th fxfy yiip &iJ.6yyw^oy koI 6fi60poyoy rh 5* ayriSo^oy icai ayridpoyov. Kal if /jiiy 
irpoairYopiay, v Si a\-fi6(tay fx** SiaSoxvs- Ov yap 6 $taadfi.(yos, oAA* d ffiaaBtls 
SiaSoxos, oiidf 6 irapayo/xricras, oAX' 6 wpofiXriOfls ivy6( ovhf 6 Toj/ayrla. So^d^(i>y, 
aXA' d Tf;s avrrji irierTfws. El fii) oSrai tjs Ktyot SidSoxoy, o>i v6(Toy uyidas, Koi 
tpanhi (TK6ros, koL (,d\fiv ya\-i\vr\s, koI avviatois iK<naaiy. GfiEGOE. Naziasz. 
Orat. in Athanas. — I quote it Irum the Benedictine edition of the works of 
Athauiisius, torn. i. p. xciii. E. 

* " Ubi est fides, illic est ecclcsia ubi autem fides non est, ibi nee 

ccolcsia est." Opus Imp. in Mattb. horn. 6. Inter Chkxsost. Op. torn. vi. 
App. p. 51. 


" bodily, but he who spiritually deserts the fundamentals of 
" ecclesiastical truth. We have gone out from tlicm [i. e. 
" the heretics, whoever tliey were, who, he tells us, then 
" possessed the Churches] in body, but they from us in 
" mind. We have gone out from them in respect of place, 
" they from us in respect of the faith, ^^'e have left with 
" them the foundations of the walls, they have left with ns 
" the foundations of the Scriptures. We have gone out from 
" them to human eyes, they from us in the judgment of God."* 

" Christ," saith Ambrose, " did not deny to his disciple the 
" favour of this name, [i. c. rock,] that he also may be called 
" Peter, having, like the rock, unshaken constancy, even a 
" firm faith. Strive, therefore, that thou also mayeet be a 
" rock. Therefore, seek the rock, not out of thyself, but 
" within thyself .... Thy rock is faith, the foundation of 
" the Church is faith. If thou shall be a rock [i. e. have firm 
" faith], thou shalt be in the Church, for the Church is on the 
" rock." ' 

Before I pass on, I would here point out to the notice of 
the reader, that in the appeal we make, in our controversies 
with the dissenters on some of the points we have been con- 
sidering, to the records of the Primitive Church, there is no 
inconsistency with our rejection of Tradition as a certain 
witness of the oral teaching of the Apostles, however loudly 
we may have been accused of it. Our arguments against the 
dissenters in these matters do by no means, as they are 

' " Xon enim ille de Eccleda exire videtor qui corporaliter exit, sed qui bjr- 
ritualiter veritatis ecclesiasticae fiindamenta relinquit. Nos enim ab illis 
exiviuius corpore, illi autem a nobis animo. Nos ab Ulis exivimus loco, illi a 
nobis fide. Nos apud illos reliqnimus fiindamenta parietimi, illi apud nos 
reliquerunt fiuidamenta Scripturarum. Nos ab illis egressi sumus secundum 
aspectum hominimi, illi autem a nobis secundum judicium DeL" lb. bom. 46. 
p. 195. 

2 " Discipulo sue hujvis vocabuli gratiam non negavit ; ut et ipse sit Petrus, 
quod de petra habeat soliditatem constantise, fidei firmitatem. Enitere ergo 
ut et tu i)eti-a sis. Itaque non extra te, sed intra te, petram require . . . Petra 
tua fides est, fundamentum Ecclesia; fides est. Si petra fueris, in Ecclesia 
ei-is, quia Ecclesia supra jx^tram est." AiiBBOS. Comment, in Luc. lib. vi. § 98. 
(In c. 9. V. 21.) Op. torn. i. col. 1107. 


charged with doing, " recoil and wound ourselves," nor 
" fall to the ground." ^ They are as consistent with our 
general views as they are in themselves valid and conclusive. 
The principle upon which our Church acts in this matter 
appears to me to be of the most simple and intelligible kind. 
In matters of pure doctrine she requires belief in nothing 
which is not, in her view, clearly testified in Scripture, while 
she appeals to the writings of the early Christian Fathers as 
affording a testimony strongly confirmatory of her interpre- 
tation of Scripture. In matters relating to rites and usages, 
for all that she puts forward as intrinsically necessary, she 
refers to Scripture as the proof of their being divinely or 
Apostolically appointed ; and, as in the last case, points to 
the records of the early Church as affording confirmatory 
evidence to the validity of the proof derived from Scripture ; 
and in other points, where she refers to the practice of the 
orthodox Primitive Church as a justification of her usage, she 
points to it only as a justification of it, and not as if the fact 
of their observance in the Primitive Church rendered them 
intrinsically necessaiy ; but a sufficient justification and re- 
commendation of those rites she does consider the usage of 
the Apostolically-primitive Church to be, because it cannot 
fairly be supposed, that they would have been generally 
observed at that very early period, if they had been unaccordant 
with the spirit of true Christianity, and consequently, that 
not only was she justified in requiring their observance, but 
dissenters were not justified in making such matters a ground 
for separation. 

But that our opponents and the Romanists are inconsistent 
with themselves, may be very easily shown. For, they put 
forward the statements of a few Fathers as affording of them- 
selves sufficient evidence of the Apostolical origin and autho- 
rity of various doctrines and practices not recorded in Scrip- 
ture. I ask, then, why they do not receive some which we 
have already proved ^ to have that evidence in their favour, as 

' Eybe's Reply to Churtou, pp. 112, 116. 

' See above, eh. v. § 8. vol. i. pp. 386 et seq., particularly pp. 397 — 399. 



for instance, besides doctrines, the followinp: practices, namely, 
standing at prayer on Sundays and during the period between 
Easter and Whitsuntide, the threefold immersion in baptism, 
and infant communion ? 

It would be easy to add others to tlic list, but these may 
suffice here.^ 

Our opponents will perhaps reply to these cases, that wc 
cannot give sufficient evidence of antiquity, universality, and 
consent ; and they may save themselves the trouble of jn-uving 
it, for we grant it at once, not dreaming of being able to prove 
in any matter what everyhudy always everywhere said or did 
respecting it; and all we ask in return is, that they shall 
strike off their list of " Apostolical relics" all that have no 
better evidence, and we shall then have very little left to dis- 
pute about. 

We now come to the points purely doctrinal for which it is 
said that we are indebted to Tradition. 

Here, then, at the outset, we must remark, that if our 
reasoning hitherto has been correct, it follows, that if these 
doctrines depend upon Patristical Tradition, they are not 
binding upon the conscience, inasmuch as they have no suf- 
ficient evidence that they are a part of revealed truth. 

But we must not pass them over without notice ; and to the 
two latter, as more peculiarly belonging to the controversy 
raised by our opponents, I shall have to call the reader's 
especial attention. 

(1) The/r5/ is the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration. 

To discuss this doctrine fully, and show the precise mean- 
ing of the language of the Fathers respecting it, would require 
far more space than we can here allot to it. Nor is it at all 
necessary in this place, for, after the observations of Dr. 
Pusey respecting it, it is somewhat extraordinary to see it so 
adduced. For, Dr. Pusey thinks, that it is "the obvious 
meaning of Scripture," and says that " with one who loved 

1 See Basii,, or Pseudo-Bash., De Spir. Sancto, c. 27; and Mobton's Cath. 
App. ii. 25. § 10. pp. 324, 5. 


" his Saviour he should be content to rest the question upon 
" one passage," namely, John iii. 5. (Preface to Tract on Bap- 
tism, p. vii.) If, then, it is so clear in Scripture, it does not 
rest upon " Tradition," and therefore certainly can be no proof 
of the necessity of Tradition, or the imperfection in any sense 
of Scripture. Upon Dr. Pusey's own showing, then, it has 
no place in the question we are now discussing. I shall only 
add, that by those who think that it is not clearly provable by 
Scripture, it is at least not maintainable as a certain truth, a 
truth of which we have sufficient evidence that it was divinely 

In the question of infant-baptism, which is a point referring 
to ecclesiastical practice, we might, perhaps, infer with safety, 
from the statements of the early records of the Church, that 
infant-baptism was practised in the Apostolically-priinitice 
Church, and hence that the Scriptural doctrine of baptism 
included infants as its subjects ; but the point we are now 
speaking of is one of pure doctrine, referring to the sj)iritual and 
unseen effects of baptism, and therefore differently circum- 

The difference between the two cases is apparent ; for, to 
give an instance, our opponents on the one hand, and those 
who take what is called the Calvinistic view of the subject on 
the other, would both be equally trustworthy witnesses of the 
fact, that the Church of England practised infant-baptism, 
while, nevertheless, on this doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration, 
they are altogether disagreed as to what is the doctrine of that 
Church; which shows how different is the validity of such 
testimony, where the practice of the Church is concerned, and 
where doctrines are concerned.^ 

(2) The second instance given is, — The virtue of the eucha- 
rist as a commemorative sacrifice. 

These words, however, require further explanation to show 
the meaning in which they are used ; for, though from the 
connexion here maintained between " the virtue of the eucha- 

1 What the doctrine of our Church is on this subject, T have attempted to 
show in a work entitled, " Tlie doctrine of the Church of Engbiud as to the 
effects of Baptism in the case of Infants." 2d edit. 1850. 8vo. 

850 Tin; ciiaisTiAN relhmov 

rist," and its Ik-iiii; a sacrifice, one might pcrliaps mjrr tlie 
doctrine intended, yet tlie word Hacrifiee is used ho variously 
and may in some sense be so properly applied to tlie eucharist, that 
it is nccessury to ascertain more fully what is meant by the 
words used. 

In the Slst of the " Tracts for the Times," then, (which is 
on this subject, and professes to give a Catena of Englinh 
divines favourable to the views of the Tractators,) the doctrine 
is thus stated. Admitting that there are in our Church- 
services but "alight indications" of the doctrine, which the 
writer ingeniously attributes to " the ' disciplina arcani ' of the 
Anglican Church"(!), though he thinks that the placing it so out 
of sight was to " tamper" with " the Apostolic deposit of sound 
words," he avers that " our Church retains" " the doctrine of 
a sacrifice in the Blessed Eucharist," (p. 2.) which, in a sense, 
nobody disputes, and then adds this description of it. " It 
" may be well, however, in these days, before going further, 
" to state briefly what that doctrine is ... . Tlie doctrine, 
" then, of the early Church was this ; that * in the Eucharist an 
" oblation or sacrifice was made by the Church to God, under 
" the form of his creatures of bread and wine, according to 
" our blessed Ijord's holy institution, in memory of his cross 
" and passion ;' and this they believed to be the ' pure offering' 
" or sacrifice which the prophet Malachi foretold that the 
** Gentiles should offer ; and that it was enjoined by our Lord 
" in the words, ' Do this for a memorial of me' ; that it was 
'* alluded to when our Lord or St. Paul speak of a Christian 
« 'altar,' (St. Matt. v. 23; Heb. xiii. 10,) and was typified 
" by the Passover, which was both a sacrifice, and a feast upon 

" a sacrifice.^ This commemorative oblation or 

" sacrifice they doubted not to be acceptable to God who had 
" appointed it ; and so to be also a means of bringing down 
" God's favour upon the whole Church. And if we were to 

1 Tliis is a mere repetition of the argximents of the Nonjurors, Hickes and 
Johnson ; of the former, in his " Christian Priesthood asserted," and of the 
latter, in his " Unhloody Sacrifice." I class Johnson with the Xonjurors because 
all his sympathies were CNndently with them. 


" analyze their feelings in our way, how should it be other- 
" wise, when they presented to the Almighty Father the symbols 
" and memorials of the meritorious death and passion of his only 
" begotten and well beloved Son, and besought him by that pre- 
" cious sacrifice to look graciously upon the Church which he 
" had purchased with his own blood — offering the memorials 
" of that same sacrifice which he, our great high priest, made 
" once for all, and now being entered within the veil, un- 
" ceasingly presents before the Father ; and the representation 
" of which he has commanded us to make ? It is, then, to use 
" our technical phraseology, * a commemorative impetratory 

" sacrifice' The Eucharist, then, according to them, 

" consisted of two parts, a * commemorative sacrifice,' and a 
"' communion,' or communication ; the former obtaixino 
"remission of sins for the Church; the communion, 
" *the strengthening and refreshing of the soul,' although, in- 
" asmuch as it united the believer with Christ, it indirectly 
" conveyed remission of sins too. The communion was (to use 
" a modern phrase) the feast upon the sacrifice thus offered 
" .... As being, moreover, appointed by their Lord, they 
" believed that the continual oblation of this sacrifice {like the 
" daily sacrifice appointed in the elder Church) was a benefit to 
" the whole Church, independently and over and above the 
" benefit to the individual communicants — that the sacrifices 
" in each branch of the Christian Church were mutually of 
" benefit to every other branch, each to all and all to each 
" . . . . Lastly . . . they felt assured, that this sacrifice 
" offered by the Church on earth for the whole Church, 
" conveyed to that portion of the Church which had passed into 
" the unseen world such benefits of Christ's death as {their 
" conflicts over, and they in rest) were still applicable to them ;" 
such benefits being supposed to be, among others, " additional 
joys and satisfactions." (pp. 4 — 7.) 

And the time when this sacrifice is to be offered up is, 
after the consecration of the bread and wine, when they may 
be considered more peculiarly to represent the body and bloud 
of Christ, as was the case in the Liturgj' of 1549 and that 


of the Scotcli Prayer-lJook, published under the KuperviHion 
of Archbishop Laud in 1037. (pp. 35—38.) And the sa- 
crifice is made by the priest in a strictly sacerdotal capa- 
city, for the following language is cpiot('d with approbation, — 
" The Church of England .... considering the sacrament of 
" the Lord's Supper to be a feast upon a sacrifice, to consti- 
" tute it such, viakes that which is feasted iipon first a gacri- 
" fice, by having it offered up by a priests (p. 53.) 

These extracts (it will, I suppose, be allowed) give a fair 
representation of the doctrine of our opponents ; and while it 
is admitted, that some portions of them may be understood in 
a good sense, from the different way in which the terms em- 
ployed have been applied, (which has enabled the author of 
this Tract to make a parade of authors as maintaining it who 
would have abhorred his doctrine,) the doctrine here taught is 
clearly this, — That besides an oblation of the elements, as 
bread and wine, to serve the purpose of making a memorial of 
Christ's sacrifice, there is in the eueharist, properly celebrated, 
a second oblation, or solemn offering up to God of the elements, 
to be made after the act of consecration has given them the 
character of symbols of Christ's body and blood ;* and this 
second oblation is a true and proper sacrifice, to be made by 
the minister in a strictly sacerdotal character ; and by this 
sacrifice is obtained (not, indeed, by its intrinsic merits, but by 
the merits of that sacrifice which it represents) remission of 
sins for the whole Church, and some additional refreshment to the 
souls of the dead in the intermediate state. 

Remission of sins is thus obtained for the Church through 
the priest offering up to God, as a mediator and intercessor 
between God and the people, a sacrifice commemorative of the 
sacrifice of the cross, just as was the ease in the expiatory 

* Thus Collier, the Nonjuror, says, — " the word oblations in this prayer 
£the prayer for the Chiu*ch militant] means no more than the offering of the 
nnconsecrated bread and wine ;" but " the eucharistic oblation," he says, " is 
the offering of the consecrated elements, the sacramental body and blood of 
our Sa%-iour, in memory of his sacrifice and passion." See Shepheed on the 
Common Prayer, vol. ii. p. 193. 


sacrifices under the Old Testament.^ And the " communion" 
is no part of the sacrifice, but only a feast upon the sacrifice, 
and remission of sins is obtained for the whole Church without 
it, although, " inasmuch as it unites the believer with Christ, 
it indirectly conveys remission of sins too." 

Such is the doctrine which our opponents maintain to be 
the doctrine of the Church of England derived to us from 
" Tradition," or the unanimous consent of Antiquity ; and I 
most willingly admit, that we should look for it in vain in 
Scripture, And when the Tractator comes to speak of the 
Homish doctrine as distinct from the Anglican, he makes 
the difference to consist merely- in the doctrine that in the 
Mass Christ is as truly and really sacrificed as he was 
upon the cross, " that Christ himself is again offered." 
So that by his own statements his doctrine on this subject 
would appear to be, what indeed it is, the Romish doc- 
trine of the sacrifice of the Mass, that is, as far as concerns 
the offerer, the mode of offering, and the effects produced. 

To prove his doctrine to be that of the Anglican Church, 
he has introduced in this Tract a long Catena of extracts from 
English divines, claimed by him as maintainers of this doc- 
trine. To notice this Catena in full does not fall within our 
present limits, but it is impossible to dismiss it without a 
remark, and by the fidelity and trustworthiness of this Catena 
we may judge of the value of our opponents' statements 
respecting the Fathers. 

The Tractators are quite aware, how little ecclesiastical 
studies have prevailed until very lately among the great 
majority, and they have largely availed themselves of the 
supposed superficial knowledge of the generality on such sub- 

' Hence it is here represented as a true and proper propitiatory sacrifice, 
(as it was called by Johnson, the Nonjuror,) that is, as much ao as aoy oS the 
sacrifices of the Old Testament ; though, from its being only instrumentally 
and not intrinsically propitiatory as an instrument for applymg the merits of 
that sacrifice of Christ of which it is commemorative, the word is sometimes 
objectetl to ; and it is called only an imjietratory sacrifice, tliat is, one which 
obtains for man instrumentally the benefits of that sacrifice which it represents. 

* He adds, that they have corrupted the true doctrine by the error of pur- 
gatory, but that is a distinct question. 


jects, and their want of acquaintance with tlie works of our 
great divines, and would fain lead us to HuppoHe, that the viewi 
of such men as Brett, Johnson, and llickes, were the views of 
all our best theologians, though, in the subject Vx-forc us more 
especially, they have, 1 suspect, gone beyond what some even 
of these authors would have been iticlined to maintain, for it 
is a vastly different thing to maintain the propriety of the 
elements being solcnmly offered up to God after their conse- 
cration as a sacrifice commemorative of the sacrifice of the 
cross, and to connect with such oblation the doctrine which 
our opponents connect with it. Such an attempt, will, I 
trust, meet only with the success it deserves. But alas ! such 
views arc so gratifying to the pride of human nature in the 
clergy, that it is not to be wondered at if they should find 
many supporters. 

We have already observed, that there are senses in which 
the word sacrifice may very properly be applied to the 
eucharist. The whole action of the eucharist w a sacrifice of 
thanksgiving, and such "sacrifice of praise/' (lieb. xiii. 15,) 
as being a sacrifice of the heart, is one more acceptable to 
God than any material or external offering. 

Moreover, the elements themselves may be called a sacrifice 
to God, not as things offered up as a propitiatory sacrifice to 
God, but as oblations to God, or things given and set apart 
for the service of God.^ Thus, Cyprian rebukes the wealthy 

' Waterland seems to object to the word tacrifice being at all applied to 
the elements, and hence opposes the notion of any material sacrifice in the 
eucharist, but if sacrifice be understood in the larger sense of the word, so as 
to include even the offerings of prayer and praise, as Waterland himself naea 
it, I see not why we should not allow the bread and wine used in God's ser- 
vice to be so called. The leader will observe, that in that sense of the word 
sacrifice in which alone it is applicable under the Christian dispensation, it it 
only equivalent to the word oblation ; and the two, therefore, are used indis- 
criminately by the Fathers. And even Richard Baxter says, — " There are two 
several sorts of oblations which may lawfully be made (and fitly) at the commu- 
nion. — 1. The creatures of bread and wine should be ofiered or presented before 
God, as acknowledging him to be the creator and giver of all, and to desire his 
acceptance and benediction of them for that holy use. 2. Our alms or chari- 
table contribution may be then fitly ofiered to God, that he may first accept 
it, and so it may be communicated to the Church and poor." Baiteb's Christ. 
Direct. Part iii. q. 98. ed. 1678. p. 151. 


for coming to church " without a sacrifice," and " taking part 
of the sacrifice which the poor offered;*'^ it being customary 
then for the bread and wine to be brought by the com- 

So also the consecrated elements might be called a sacrifice 
figuratively, as they represent and symbolically set forth the 
sacrifice of Christ ; although it is evident, from the deductions 
of our opponents from such language, that it is inconvenient 
and dangerous phraseology, however harmless in its original 
use and signification. 

Hence the doctrine maintained by any writer must be 
gathered, not from the bare use of certain terms, but from the 
meaning attached to them in his writings. 

In this Tract, however, we have a vast heap of names and 
extracts strung together without the slightest notice of the 
diff'erent senses in which the word " sacrifice" has been used by 
them, or of the difl*erence of doctrine in those who have used 
alike certain words and names, and find Hooker and the 
Nonjurors placed side by side, so as to lead the unsuspecting 
reader to suppose, that the " sacrifice" of the one was precisely 
the same as the " sacrifice" of the other ; and in fact, whatever 
divines have used the word " sacrifice" in connexion with the 
eucharist seem to have been forthwith set down (with few 
exceptions) as supporters of the Tractators* view of "the 
Eucharistic sacrifice." 

Now the writer of this Tract (if at least he is as learned as 
the professions of the Tractators would lead us to suppose) 
must have been perfectly aware, that many of the authors 
whom he has here quoted, would have utterly repudiated 
and reprobated the views of which he here quotes them as 
supporters. I will just give one instance by which the reader 
may judge of the fidelity and value of this Tract. The third 
author quoted in this Catena, as supporting the views of our 

* " Locuples et dives es, et Domiiiicum celebrare t« credis, quae corbonam 
omnino non respicis ; quae in Dominicum sine sacrificio venis ; quse partem de 
sacrificio, quod pauper obtulit, sumis ?" CrPB. De op. et eleemos. circ. med. 
Op. ed. Fell. Pt. 1. p. 203. 

A A 2 


opponents on this question, is Hooker, and the proof in, that 
in one ])lace he lias said that the cup serveth for a gaerifice of 
thanksgiving. Now so far is Hooker from supporting the 
views of our ojjponents, that he distinctly says, not far from 
the passage quoted, — " Seeing then that sacrifice is now no 
" part of the Church ministry, how should the name of priest- 
*' hood be thereunto rightly applied ? Surely even as St. Paul 
" applieth the name of flesh unto that very substance of fishes 
" which hath a proportionable correspondence to flesh, although 
" it be in nature another thing. . . . The Fathers of the Church 
" of Christ with like security of speech call usually the ministry 
" of the gospel priesthood, in regard of that which the gospel 
*' hath proportionable to anticnt sacrifices, namely the com- 
" munion of the blessed body and blood of Christ, although 
*' it have properly now no sacrifice. ... in truth the word pres- 
" byter doth seem more fit and in propriety of speech more 
" agreeable than priest with the drift of the whole gospel of 
" Jesus Christ."^ With this passage before him the author 
of this Tract has placed Hooker upon his Catena for their 
doctrine of the sacrifice of the Eucharist ; a passage which 
Waterland, who is accused by the Tract writer (p. 51) of 
taking too low a view of this doctrine, (he, in fact, denied 
in toto that for which our opponents are contending, viz. a 
material sacrifice in the bread and wine,) charges with going 
too far, and wishes to understand in a limited sense, as Mr. 
Keble is aware, as he has quoted it in his edition of Hooker, 
in a note on the passage.- 

And after Hooker, and others equally opposed with him to 
the views of our opponents, come such men as Brett and 
Johnson and Hickes, whose views are so notoriously opposed 
to those of the great majority of our dinnes, and even of those 
quoted in this Catena, and whose meaning, therefore, when 
speaking of the sacrifice in the Eucharist is so difierent from 
that of others who may have used the same term on the sub- 
ject, (a tei-m used and insisted on by Beza himself,^ and to 

I Hookeh's Eccles. Pol. v. 78. 

* See Keble's Ed. of Hooker's Works, vol. ii. p. 601. 

' See Watebland's Christian Sacrifice explained. Works, voL \va. p. 161. 


which in some sense nobody objects,) that I can only say, that 
if the writer of the Tract in question is as learned as we are 
taught to suppose, he must be a bold man. In so speaking, 
indeed, I am suppressing nine-tenths of the feeling with which 
every candid mind must view the matter. 

But, as the author of this Tract is well aware, the matter is 
so entangled by the diJQTerent meanings affixed to the terms 
used, and by the controversial writings of most of our divines 
on the subject having been replies to Romanists, and conse- 
quently mixed up with the question of transubstantiation, that 
it is difficult to show, by a few brief extracts, what the doc- 
trine of our divines on this subject was ; clearly as it may be 
seen in their works, taken as a whole. To those works, there- 
fore, I must, for want of space, be content here to refer the 
reader; and the case of Hooker, already given, may show him 
the need of such a reference.^ 

That our Church, in her public Services, gives any counte- 
nance to the doctrine here maintained, is, as we have seen, all 
but given up. And it is curious to observe the way in which 
the Tractator attempts to get over this difficulty. In the first 
Prayer-book of Edward VI. there was inserted, at the con- 
clusion of the Prayer of consecration, an address to God, in 
which our opponents hold that the consecrated elements 
were oflfered up to him in that sacrificial way for which they 
plead ; which, in the revised Prayer-book, was omitted ; and 
a part which followed it, was ordered, as now, to be used 
as a distinct prayer after the communion. For this alteration, 
which, if the views of our opponents are correct, involves 
a vital departure from the instituted mode of celebrating the 
ordinance, (for, by this sacrifice so omitted, remission of sins 

' It is through the variety of seiises attached to the words used, that the 
Tractator gets over that passage in our Homilies, in which we are exhorted to 
" take heed, lest of the memorj- it be made a sacrifice." The meaning of thi« 
passage, to an ordinary reader, and espet-ially one acquainted with the language 
of our Services, would seem plain enough. But the Tractator, by assuming 
that the writer of the homily meant by sacrifice, such a sacrifice as would be pro- 
duced by transubstantiation, interprets this pass.ige to mean, that we must take 
heed, lest of a commemorative sacrifice it be made a real sacrifice of flesh and 
blood, such as transubstantiation would make it. See Tract 81. pp. 43, 4, 


was to be obtained for tbe Cburch,) our opponents are, of 
course, driven to their wits' end to find a reason consistent 
with the supposition that our Church, in her Services, and 
our Reformers who drew them up as they now stand, maintain 
their views. And accordingly all is attributed to the weak- 
ness of Cranmcr in listening to foreign advisers, and, at their 
instigation, Aa//* suppressing (for, of course, it would not do 
to allow that it was wholly suppressed,) the doctrine of the 
sacrifice, and leaving the Communion-Service in this vitally 
defective state ; in which state, be it remembered, our divines for 
three centuries have been content to leave it. But the Tractator 
thinks, that " the restoration of the communion table [on the 
" accession of Queen Elizabeth] to the place which the altar 
*' had formerly occupied, showed that the Church recognised 
" the doctrine which some of her heads had before shrunk 
" from avowing in the presence of the foreign Reformers, and 
*' their disciples," (p. 19,) though this was, he admits, but a 
half-avowal, (p. 20.) And hence Edward VI.'s first Prayer- 
book is called " the genuine English Service-book.'* (p. 23.) 
And we ai'c told, that the revisers of our Liturgy " confined 
" the verbal act of the sacrifice to the single prayer which 
" followed after the consecration," (p. 12.) that is, the prayer 
after the communion ; so that the act of sacrifice now takes 
place after the sacrifice has been consumed. If this is the 
half ihsit remains of the doctrine of the sacrifice in our Service, 
the reader will probably be disposed to think that it can be of 
as little use to our opponents as the half that has been 
expunged. And our Tractator seems sometimes of the same 
opinion ; unless it is by a slip of the pen that he has written, 
(speaking of the alterations made in the revision of the 
Prayer-book,) *' All the beginning of the form of oblation was 

*' omitted The remainder ' entirely desiring,' 8cc. was 

*' placed (mutatis mutandis) after the delivery of the elements, 
" and consequently when their presence could no longer sanction 
** in any mind the idea of the actual offering up of Christ," and 
therefore, I suppose, not of any emblematical offering up of 
Christ; for the transposition afi^ected one as much as the 


other, (p. 31 .) But our Tractator will have it, that " that 
" portion of the prayer of consecration, which has been trans- 
" posed and placed after the actual communion" is an " indi- 
" cation of the doctrine of the sacrifice ;" for " the sense must 
" remain the same, although its meaning is less visible, on 
" account of its being disconnected from the actual visible 
" elements, except so far as a portion of thb conskcratid 
" elements still remains upon the altar, whence it is 
" recorded, that Bishop Overall used it before the participation, 
" as it was at first" (pp. 35, 36.)^ So that although the 
elements may be all consumed when the prayer is uttered, 
this only makes the reference of the prayer to a solemn 
offering up of them to God, " less visible ;" and perchance, 
adds the Tractator, there may be *' a portion of the consecrated 
elements still remaining upon the altar," so that it may be 
considered as an offering up of these unconsumed frap- 
ments ; and so much does the Service indicate this view, that 
Bishop Overall was obliged to break the rubric, and alter the 
Service, to make it do so. Such is the plain English of this 
passage. Alas ! for the shifts to which the love of a theory 
will drive men ! The reader will observe, also, that all this is 
maintained in the face of an acknowledged omission of the 
only part in the first Prayer-book that had any direct refer- 
ence to the oblation or sacrifice contended for ; and the reten- 
tion of that part only that refers to the sacrifice of praise and 
thanksgiving, which is directed to be said, as if to put the 
meaning out of all question, after the communion is over. 

The only other argument that I can find adduced in proof 
of the retention of the doctrine of the sacrifice in our present 
Service, (taken, that is, from the Service itself,) is, that ** the 
preamble in the prayer of consecration" "implies the sacrifice," 
because it speaks of our continuing " a perpetual memory" of 
Christ's precious death, (p. 35) ; which we are to understand 
as signifying, contrary to the obvious meaning of the words, 
and contrary to the very significant omission of the sacrificial 

> See iUso Tract 90. p. 60. 


part of the Service, that commemorative sacrifice for which our 
opponents contend. This argument 1 leave with the reader. 

Our Church countenances no such sacrifice of the con- 
secrated elements to God ; but in the place of it, the ofTering 
up, by faith, of the true sacrifice of the cross upon the altar 
of the heart, in our prayers and praises, while we receive out- 
wardly and corporally the emblems of that sacrifice ; emblems 
which, in the case of every faithful worshipper, are accom- 
panied with a direct spiritual influence and blessing, uniting 
the believer with Christ the Head. 

It would have been much more to the credit of the Tractator, 
if he had fairly allowed, with his own witness, Mede, that 
there was no such sacrifice countenanced in our Service. 
Mede, indeed, fairly admits, not only that there is no such 
sacrifice, (for he does not seem to plead for such a sacrifice,) 
but that our Church did not, at that time, formally recognise 
any sacrifice at all ; and the character of the oblation or 
sacrifice for which he contends, is clearly shown, when he 
says, that, " in deed and effect we do it, so often as we set the 
" bread and wine upon the holy table ; for, whatsoever we 
" set upon God's table, is, ipso facto, dedicated and offered 
"unto him "^ and such an oblation of the elements, no 
doubt, always takes place, whether formally recognised in 
the Service, or not ; but this is far from countenancing 
the doctrine of our opponents, which can be satisfied with 
nothing less than an oblation of the elements after conse- 
cration, when they have been set apart as sacramentally the 
body and blood of Christ ; and thus are considered to be 
available, when offered by a priest, for the remission of the 
sins of the whole Church. And so again, he says elsewhere, 
"There is nothing wanting to make this sacred ejmlum, 
" of which we speak, full out a sacrifice, but that we show, 
" That the viands thereof vi,'ere first offered unto God ; that so 
" being his. He might be the Convivator, Man the conviva, or 
" the guest. And this the antient Church was wont to do ; 

» Mede's WorkB> p. 376 ; and see Tract, p. 122. 


" this they believed our blessed Saviour himself did, when, at 
" the institution of this holy rite. He took the bread and the 
'' cup into his sacred hands, and looking up to heaven, gave 
" thanks and blessed. And, after his example, they first offered 
" the bread and wine unto God to agnize him the Lord of the 
" creature, and then received them from him again in a banquet, 
" as the symbols of the body and blood of his Son."^ But this 
sacrifice is one of a very different kind from that which our 
opponents would introduce. And when he afterwards speaks 
of Christ being offered in the Eucharist commemoratively, he 
explains himself to mean, that, " by this sacred rite of bread 
" and wine, we represent and inculcate his blessed passion to 
" his Father;"^ by which words, and his language elsewhere, 
it is evident that he means, that, by the whole £ucharistical 
act, we represent Christ's passion to the Father; not that 
the minister offers up, as a priest, the consecrated bread 
and wine as a propitiatory sacrifice to the Father. And this 
cleai'ly follows from the laudatory way in which he has 
quoted the following passage from Perkins. "The ancient 
*' Fathers used to call the supper of the Lord, or the whole 
" action of the supper, a sacrifice ; and that for divers reasons 
" . . . . Because it is a commemoration and also a repre- 
" sentation unto God the Father of the sacrifice of Christ 
" offered upon the cross .... In this sense the faithful, 
" in their prayers, do offer Christ as a sacrifice unto God 
" the Father for their sins, in being wholly carried away 
" in their minds and affections unto that only and true 
*' sacrifice, thereby to procure and obtain God's favour to them ;" 
to which Mede adds, " That which every Christian doth 
" mentally and vocally, when he commends his prayers to God 
" the Father, through Jesus Christ, making mention of his 
" death and satisfaction ; that, in the public Service of the 
" Church, was done by that rite, which our Saviour com- 
" manded to be used in commemoration of him.'* ' By 

> Mede's Works, pp. 372, 3. 

* Mede's Works, p. 376. 

' Mede's Works, pp. 365, 366. 


which he evidently means, that it is done in the public Ser- 
vice, not by the priest merely, but by all present ; not as if 
this sacrifice was a propitiatory sacrifice to be offered only by 
the priest, to obtain remission of sins for the people, distinct 
from the communion to be participated in by the people. The 
doctrine of Mede, therefore, is at least very diflV-rent from that 
of the Tractators on the subject. 

Accordingly we find, that our opponents' friend and chosen 
witness. Dr. Brett, very distinctly charges the Church of Eng- 
land with a vital omission in her Eucharistic Service. I will 
transcribe some of his observations on this matter, and com- 
mend his/flir and open dealing to the attention and imitation 
of the Tractators. 

"I wish," says Dr. Brett, "he [i. e. Johnson] could have 
" shewed us, where the Church of England has appointed 
" such an oblation of the sacramental body and blood of 
" Christ, as he speaks of,. ... or that she has not wilfully 
" and designedly omitted it. That it is omitted in the Com- 
*' munion OflSce of the Church of England, is evident to all 
" that are acquainted with that Liturgy ; and that it was 
" not casually, but wilfully, left out there, is no less evident, 
" because not only in the Roman Canon. . . . but also in the 
" first reformed Liturgy of King Edward VL there was 
" such an oblation immediately following the words of insti- 
" tution .... but in the second Liturgy of King Edward, 
" and ever since, this prayer (that is, what the second 
" reformers thought fit to leave of it,) has been removed to 
" the post-communion, that it might not be used till after 
" the elements were distributed and consumed. . . . The words 
** ' to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving^. . as 
" they are now placed in the post-communion can by no means 
" be applied to the material elements. For it is absurd to pretend 
" that we may offer to God that which is not, or present to him 

" that which we have eaten and consumed This omission 

" and transposition could not be made otherwise than with 
" design. Consequently, the Church of England has wilfully 
" and designedly omitted to make the oblation of the sacra- 


" mental body and blood of Christ ; and therefore, according 
" to what Mr. Johnson says, she is without excuse as to this 
" matter. ... If it be but a very great defect, it ought to be 
" corrected ; and if it is an essential one, it is of fatal corue- 
" quence. And surely it is essential, if it be what our Saviour 
" did and commanded us to do, as Mr. Johnson has proved it 
" is, and the very words of institution teach us, and the prac- 
" tice of the whole Church, from the Apostles* days to the 
" Reformation, has been agreeable thereto." ^ 

How far our opponents agree in reality with these views, 
may be seen in Mr. Froude's Remains, Mr. Newman's Letter 
to Br. Fausset, and Mr. Keble's Preface to Hooker. By Mr. 
Froude it is said, that our present Communion- Service is " a 
judgment on the Church," and that there would be gain in 
** replacing it by a good translation of the Liturgy of St. Peter" 
(a euphemism for the Mass-book) ; by Mr. Newman, that our 
Reformers, in not adopting " the Canon of the Mass," which 
is called a " sacred and most precious monument of the Apo- 
stles," " mutilated the tradition of 1500 years," and that " our 
present condition is a judgment on us for what they did;"* 
and by Mr. Keble, that our Reformers, in their revision of the 
Prayer Book, have " given up altogether the ecclesiastical 
" tradition regarding certain very material points in the cele- 
" bration, if not in the doctrine, of the Holy Eucharist."' 
And yet, notwithstanding this, they publish a Tract, in which 
they endeavour to prove that our Communion-Service may be 
explained so as to be consistent with their views, and claim all 
the best of our English divines as supporters of them ! 

So much, then, for the claim made by the Tractators that 
their doctrine on this point is that of the Church of England. 

I now proceed to the question, whether their doctrine is 
that of the Scriptures or the Primitive Church. 

lu their statements on this point are contained the four 
following propositions : — 

^ Bektt's Collection of ancient Liturgies. Dissert, pp. 119 — 22. 
* Newman's Lett, to Dr. Fausset, 2ud ed. pp. 46, 7. 
' Keble's Pref. to Hooker, p. 62. 


Ist. That the bread and wine, after consecration, are to be 
offered up to God by the minister, as a sacrifice commemorative 
of the sacrifice of the cross. 

2dly. That the minister performs this act in a strictly 
sacerdotal character. 

3dly, That by this sacrifice so offered by a priest, remission 
of sins is obtained for the whole Church. 

4thly. That by this sacrifice so oflFcrcd an additional 
refreshment is obtained for the souls of the dead in the inter- 
mediate state. 

All these four propositions, then, we maintain to be contrary 
to the testimony of Scripture and the earliest Fathers. 

1st. That the bread and wine, after consecration, are to be 
offered up to God by the minister, as a sacrifice commemo- 
rative of the sacrifice of the cross. 

Whether there is any intrinsic evil in such an oblation of the 
elements, is not here the question. That the bread and wine, 
after that they have obtained by consecration a peculiar cha- 
racter, as things set apart as emblems of Christ's body and 
blood, should be solemnly offered up to God, as a memorial, 
as it were, of the sacrifice of the cross, may not be in itself an 
improper act, if it be understood, that the offering is made, 
not by the priest as a propitiation for the people, but by all 
the congregation by the hands of the priest as a commemorative 
representation of the sacrifice of Christ. And by this act, 
the body and blood of Christ might be said to be offered up, 
that is figuratively and symbolically, which is the only way 
in which they could be offered up by elements which, as the 
Fathers testify, are still bread and wine. And this was 
perhaps done by some in the fourth or fifth century, and was 
admitted into our first reformed Liturgy, but was done simul- 
taneously and corresjiondently, as far as the succession of time 
would admit, with that act of the heart by which the true body 
and blood of Christ — the true sacrifice of the cross — were 
spiritually offered up to the Father in prayers and praises, as 
the only propitiation for our sins ; which spiritual sacrifice is 
that which at all times is, as it were, the soul of the service. 


and that upon which its value altogether depends. But, 
though the offering up of the consecrated symbols may not be 
in itself improper, yet there are objections to it, and our 
Church has thus judged. We have not either the testimony 
of Scripture, or of the Primitive Church, in its favour. And 
there is no inconsiderable danger, as I think facts teach us, 
that this external offering made through the hands of the 
minister, may be substituted for that spiritual offering up of 
the sacrifice of the cross upon the altar of the heart of each 
individual, upon which the value of the service to the individual 
communicant wholly depends. Nay more ; as we have no 
authority for so doing, it is an act which appears to savour 
strongly of presumption. 

First, let us consider the testimony of Scripture on this point. 

The Tractator tells us, that the Fathers declare, " that it 
" [the sacrifice] was enjoined by our Lord in the words * Do 
" this for a memorial of me.' " I suppose he means Father 
Bellarmine and such like, for he will find, I suspect, no others ; 
nor is it necessary to do more than place before him the ob- 
servations of his own witness, Bishop Morton, not far from 
the passage he has quoted from him on this point. " To this 
" purpose, he [i. e. Bellarmine], as others, insisteth upon the 
" same words, hoc facite, saying, that * Christ offered a sacri- 
"fee, and commanded it to be offered certainly in these 
" words, hoc facite, do this, where the word hoc, this, doth 
" demonstrate that which Christ did in the supper, viz., to 
" sacrifice himself.' Which is so empty and pithless a proof 
" that their own Jansenius, as it were, despairing of the issue, 
" doth say, that ' notwithstanding this sacrifice cannot be 
" effectually proved by this text of hoc facite, yet may it be 
" proved by tradition.' Which causeth us to admire our adver- 
" saries' vain pretences who profess to expound Scriptures ac- 
" cording to the consent of antient Fathers, and yet now 
" their greatest doctor. Cardinal Bellarmine, when he con- 
" tendeth for their great Diana, the Romish sacrifice of the 
" Mass, and would prove it out of the words hoc facite, doth 
" not, out of all the catalogue of antient Fathers, cite any one 


" that we find who inter|)rctcth/«ci7«' to be aacrificate. Neither 
" indeed can it be so enforced: for, as their Cardinal JauHenius 
" truly noteth, the pronoun hoc, this, ' is to be referred not 
" only to the takinf^ of the eucharist, but unto all those par ti- 
" culars which Christ is iaid forthwith to have done ; as namely, 
" the taking bread, giving of thanks, blessing, and breaking, 

" The plea from hoc facile" says Dr. Waterland, " when 
" first set up, was abundantly answered by a very learned 
" Romanist ; I mean the excellent Picherell, who wrote about 
" 15G2, and died in 1590. Protestants also^ have often con- 

' Moeton'8 Catholic Appeal, ii. 7. §§ 10, 11. pp. 177,8. I woiild commoid 
the whole of this cliapter to the attention of the reader, and aliio hi* TreatiM 
" Of the ingtitution of the Sacrament of the hle««cd hotly and hlood of Chri«t," 
2d od. enlarged. Lond. 1635. fol. (circulated with a fresh title-page in 1652, in 
which its title is, " Of the Lord's Supper ;") for though, from his controversy 
heing with those who held the doctrine of Transuhstantiation, his obaervationa 
are not all strictly applicahle to our present suhject, yet they evidently iuelmd* 
a defence of the view for which we are here contending. " As for the Protec- 
tants," he says, " they, in their divine and public service, do profeit Christ the 
Son of God to be the onltf true priett of the New Testament ; who, being God 
and man, was only able to work in himself propitiation with God for man ; and 
his sacrifice once offered upon the cross to be the all and only sufficient sacrifice 
for the remission of sins ; which [i. c. which sac-rifice of the cro»$'\ by an 
eucharistical and thankfid commemoration (according unto the acknowledged 
teiiour of antient Liturgies, ' for all the faithful, whether martyrs, potriardia, 
prophets, or Aj^stlcs, and all saints,) they present unto God as an effectual pro- 
pitiation, both for the quick and the dead ; hy the which FBAYBRS [so that the 
prayers offered by the heart are the commemoration outwardly betokened by the 
bread and wine] they apply the same propitiatory sacrifice unto the good of 
all that are capable." (Cath. App. ii. 7. § 18. p. 188.) Here, then, we clearly 
see, that the true altar recognised by Bishop Morton, is the altar of the heart, 
from which, in the sacrifices of prayer and praise, Christ is offered up to the 
Father as an effectual propitiation, and his effectual propitiation is offered np by 
the commimicants not only for themselves, but for the whole Church, including 
also even the dead, so Jar as to intercede for their future happy resurrection and 
possession of the promised inheritance, the only prayers for them which, aa 
£ishop Morton himself tells us, in the folloicing chapter, (§ 2. p. 190,) pure 
Antiquity sanctions. 

2 J. FoEBES, p. 616. MOEX. p. 212. Saxmas. Contr. Grot. p. 444. Ax- 
BEETiN. p. 498, 509. MoETON, b. vi. c 1. p. 390. Towysox, p. 276. Bbe- 
TiJfT, Depth and myst. p. 128. Patne, p. 9 et seq. Ptapf. p. 186, 220, 
^59, 269. 


" futed it, and the Papists themselves, several of them, have 
" long ago given it up. The other boasted plea drawn from 
" the use of the present tense, in the words of the institution, 
" has been so often refuted and exposed,^ that I cannot think 
" it needful to call that matter over again in an age of so 
" much light and learning."^ 

So that in these words at least we have no intimation of 
any such sacrifice. 

We are also referred to the passages in the New Testament 
in which the word " altar " occurs ; and the Tractator (Tract 
81.) tells us, that " the early Church " held, that the Eucharist 
was " alluded to, when our Lord or St. Paul speak of a Chris- 
tian altar. (St. Matt. v. 23: Heb. xiii. 10.)" But this cer- 
tainly cannot be proved by anything bearing the appearance 
of Patristical consent, so that even Bellarmine himself admits, 
that it cannot be so urged,^ and affirms, that the Apostles and 
writers of the New Testament, by the special guidance of the 
Holy Ghost, purposely forbore to insert in their writings the 
name of an altar;* and the passage in the Hebrews is generally 
interpreted as referring to the altar of the cross, a phrase which 
Waterland has shown to have been in common use with the 
Fathers.^ But even if it could, (and some of the Fathers have 
given that interpretation,) we reply with their own witness on 
this subject. Bishop Morton, " Grant, that altar doth as na- 
" turally and necessarily infer a sacrifice as a shrine doth a 
" saint, a father a son j yet so, as to distinguish when these 
" things are properly and when improperly so called ; knowing 
" that the table of the Lord being called improperly an altar 
" can no more conclude a sacrifice properly understood, than 
" when as St. Paul calleth Titus, his son according to the 
" faith, (which is improperly,) a man may contend, that St. 

' PiCHEBELL, p. 62, 138. Spalatsns. p. 278. Mason, p. 614. Moktok 
b. vi. c. 1. p. 394. Albkbtin. p. 74, 76, 78, 119. J. Fobbes, p. 617. Bas- 
VINT, p. 128. KiDDEE & Patse. Ptaff. p. 232, 233. 

* Appendix to Christian Sacrifice. Works, voL 8. pp. 194, 5. 

* Bellarm. De miss. lib. 1. c. 14. 
« lb. c. 17. 

* Watebland's Works, vol. 8, pp. 211, 12. 


" Paul was his proper and natural father, which ia, according 
" to the flesh/' 1 

Now, we grant, that the Lord** table may be called imjtru- 
perhj an altar, on several accounts, and therefore, the mere use 
of the word proves nothing in favour of the doctrine of our 
opponents. For, even were we to admit, that, according to 
their doctrine, the altar is only improperly an altar, yet, as 
we also hold, that it may be called improper lij an altar, the mere 
name would, at least, prove no more for their view than for ourt. 
And we readily concede, that these words, a/tar, priest, sacrifice, 
were used in the Church at a very early period, though not per- 
haps at the earliest. Bellarmine himself states, that the first 
Christians abstained from the use of such words up to the time 
ot'Tertullian ;"^ and hence bishop Morton justly observes, "If, 
" therefore, some Protestants, calling to mind the temperance 
" of the primitive age, which, as is confessed, abstained from 
" the names of priesthood and temples, — we add that which 
" we have proved, and from altars, — have misliked the liberty 
" of succeeding Fathers for alteration of the phrase, they are 
" not herein to be judged adversaries, but rather zealous emu- 
" lators and favourers of true Antiquity."^ 

But it appears to me, I confess, both diflBcult to determine 
any precise period at which the use of the word " altar " to 
express the communion-table arose, and also a matter of in- 
difference. For, all that we are concerned with is, whether 
the name was used properly or improperly.* And that it was 
used only metaphorically, seems to me capable of easy proof, 

» MoBTOif's Cath. App. ii. 6. § 1. p. 162. 

' BelljlEM. De cult, sanct. lib. 3. c. 4. 

3 Moeton's Cath. App ii. 6. § 2. p. 164. 

* " Howbeit," says Bishop Jewel, " the old learned Fathers, as they often- 
times delighted themselves with these words, Sahbatum, Parasceve, Pagcha, 
Pentecoste, and such other like terms of the Old Law, notwithstanding the ob- 
servation and ceremony thereof were then abolished and out of use ; even so 
likewise they delighted themselves oftentimes with these words, sacerdos, 
altare, sacrificium, the sacrificer, the altar, the sacrifice, notwithstanding the 
use thereof were then clearly expired, only for that the ears of the people, as 
well of the Jews as of the Gentiles, had been long acquainted with the same." 
Jewel's Reply to Harding, art. 17. Works, ed. 1611. p. 410. 


from this simple and undeniable fact, that when Celsus and 
others accused the Christians of not having any altars, tliey 
admitted that they had none, and justified the fact, as we learn 
from Origen, Minutius Felix, and Arnobius.^ 

But our opponents will perhaps say, — True, they denied 
that they had altars, but then they meant only such altars as 
received bloody sacrifices, and not such altars as we contend 
for. Let us observe, then, in what words Origen makes this 
denial. To the charge of Celsus on this head, Origen replies, 
" He sees not, that our altars are the mind of each of the 
" righteous, from whence are sent up truly and intelligently 
" incense offerings of sweet savour, even the prayers that 
" proceed from a pure conscience." ^ This passage, then, is 
completely conclusive against such an answer as we have sup- 
posed, — namely, that they denied that they had altars only 
because their sacrifices were not bloody, and therefore their 
altars only improperly called akars, — because then this distinc- 
tion would have been drawn by Origen ; but, on the contrary, 
he admits the charge fully, and replies, that our hearts are 
our altars, showing that the true sacrifice in the eucharist was 
the offering up of Christ upon the altar of the heart, in our 
prayers and praises. And the same answer is made to Julian 
upon a similar occasion by Cyril of Alexandria.^ 

Further, we are referred to the prophecy in ^lalachi 
(i. 10, 11), and told, that the early Church believed this sacri- 
fice to be " the ' pure offering ' which Malachi foretold that the 
Gentiles should offer." Now, so far is this from being the 
case, that we have the clearest evidence, that they understood 
the passage in a different sense, even when they made it refer 
directly to the eucharist. This may be seen in the passage 
already quoted above from Justin Martyr,* where, after refer- 

» Ohio. Contr. Cels. viii. § 17. Op. ed. Ben. i. p. 755. Mor. Fklix in 
Octav. § 32. Aknob. Adr. Gent. vi. & v\\. 

* Ovx bpwv, 2t« /Swjuoi /Iff flffiv rjfxiy rh iKitrrov rw¥ tSiKCUwif fiytfiovuchv, i^* 
oZ ayaireniTfrai a\ri0ws Kal votjtwi fvwSri Ovfudfia-ra, eu wpoatvxcd axb (Tvyti- 
Sr)(Tfu)s Kadapas. Origen ut wpra. 

^ Cteill. Albx. Contr. Julian, lib. 10. pp. 343, 345, 350. Op. torn. vi. 
ed. Aubert. 

* See pp. 230, 231 Rbore. 



ring to this very passage, he describes the sacrifices in these 
words : — " That therefore both prayers and thanksgivings 
" made by the worthy are the only perfect and acceptable 
" sacrifices to God, I also affirm. For, these alone Christians 
" have been taught to perform, both for a memorial of their 
" food, both as to meat and drink, and one in which a com- 
" memoration is made of the passion which God [read, the 
" Son] of God suffered for them." Here, then, it is distinctly 
stated, with reference to this passage of Malaclii, that the only 
sacrifices offered to God in the eucharist were those of prayer 
and thanksgiving. 

Again, how does Ircnseus interpret this passage f He dis- 
tinctly interprets the pure offering to be, — not such a sacrifice 
as our opponents mean, but — the oblation of the bread and 
wine to God as the firstfruits of his gifts. " Giving counsel," 
he says, " to his disciples to offer to God the firstfruits of his 
" creatures, — not as if God needed them, but that they might 
" be neither unfruitful nor ungrateful, — he took the bread 
" which is of the creature, and gave thanks, saying, ' This is 
" my body ; ' and in like manner, the cup which is of the 
" creature, which is according to us, he confessed to be his 
" blood ; and taught the new oblation of the New Testament, 
" which the Church receiving from the Apostles, offers 
" throughout the whole world to God, who gives us our food, 
" as the firstfruits of his gifts under the New Testament, of 
" which Malachi, in the Twelve Prophets, thus prophesied," 
quoting Mai. i. 10, 11.^ 

And hence we may see the meaning of that passage in 

' " Sed et suis discipulis dans consilium, primitias Deo offerre ex suis crea- 
turis, non quasi indigenti, sed ut ipsi nee infructuosi nee ingrati sint, eum qui 
ex creatvira panis est, accepit et gratias egit, dicens, ' Hoc est meum corpus.' 
Et calicem similiter, qui est ex ea creatura quas est secundum nos, suum 
sanguinem confessus est, et Novi Testamenti novam docuit oblationem ; quam 
Ecclesia ab Apostolis accipiens, in universe mundo offert Deo, ei qui alimenta 
nobis prsestat, primitias suorum mimerum in Xovo Testamento, de quo in 
Duodecim Propbetis Malacbias sic prasignifica^-it, Xon est mihi voluntas in 
vobis," &c. Ieek. Adv. Hser. iv. 17. p. 249. ed. Mass. (iv. 32. p. 323. ed. 


Justin Martyr, in which, alluding again to this passage of 
Malachi, he says, — " But he there utters a prediction con- 
" cerning the sacrifices offered up to Him in every place by 
" us Gentiles, that is, of the bread of the eucharist, and the 
'' cup likewise of the eucharist, and says that we glorify His 
" name, and that you profane it." ^ Here Justin Martyr 
appears, like Irenaius, to have regarded the bread and wine as ■ 
themselves, in a sense, (as undoubtedly they are,) a sacrifice to 
God ; while by comparing this with the passage we have just 
quoted from him, it is no less evident, that he esteemed the 
sacrifice of prayer and praise to be the great and all-important 
sacrifice in this service. 

Further, Tertullian does not even apply the passage at 
all, i. e. in any express terms, to the eucharist in particular, 
but to the sacrifices of prayer and praise generally. After 
quoting this passage in his Treatise against the Jews, and 
annexing to it Ps. xcvi. 7, 8, he adds, " For that we ought to 
" sacrifice to God not with earthly but with spiritual sacrifices, 
" we thus read in Scripture, 'A broken and contrite heart is 
" God's victim,' and elsewhere, * sacrifice to God the sacrifice 
" of praise, and pay thy vows unto the Most High.' In these 
" words, therefore, the spiritual sacrifices of praise are desig- 
" nated, and a broken heart is shown to be an acceptable 
" sacrifice to God .... And of spiritual sacrifices he adds these 
" words, ' And in evert/ place pure sacrifices shall be offered to 
" my name.' [Mai. i. 11.]"^ And so again in another place 

* rifpt si rHv iv wavrl tiirff ixp' rifiwv twi< iOvwv wpoatpfpofxtyuy ain-tf Bwrt&p, 
TovrfCTTi Tov iprov TTJs (vx(ipi(^i<is, Kol rov Torriplov bfxoiws rjji fvxapierrlas, 
irpo\4y(i t6t(, (irrwy Kol rb byo/xa ainov So^i^tiy Vfias, vfias Si fifffrjXovy. JCST. 
Mart. Dial, cum Tryph. § 41. Op. ed. Ben. p. 138. 

- " Cur itaque jxwU'a per I^rophetas pnedicat Spirit u* futurom, ut in omni 
terra aut in omui looo offerautur sacriiicia Deo, sieut per Malachiam angelum 
unum ex Duodecim Prophetis (licit, ' Non recipiam sacrifieium de inaniboi 
vestris, quoniam ab oriente sole usque ad occidentera nomen meum clarifica- 
tum est in omnibus gcntibus, dicit Dominus Omnipotens; et in omni looo 
offeruntur sacrificia munda nomini meo.' Item in Psalmis David dicit : ' Ad- 
ferte Deo patriro gentium,'— indubitate quod in omnem terram exire habebat 
pnedicatio Apostolorum, — ' Adlerte Deo claritatem et honorem, adferte Deo 
sacrificia nominis ejus ; tollite hostias, et introite in atria ejus. Namque quod 

B B 2 

372 TIIK i;nillSTIAN RKI.KilO.N 

be speaks still more plainly, where, (pioting this passage of 
Malachi, — " In every place a sacrifice shall be offered to my 
name, even a pure sacrifice/' — he immediately add«, " kamcly, 
the ascription ofglnnj, and benediction, and praise, and hymns." * 
And again, — " As Malachi says, . . . . ' In every place sacrifice 
" shall be offered to ray name, even a pure sacrifice,* namely, 
" sincere prayer from a pure conscience.*'^ 

Statements of other Fathers' might be quoted of a similar 
import, but these are, I suppose, amply sufficient. 

That the passage includes a reference to the cucharist, as 
one, and perhaps the most important, of the spiritual sacrifices 
of the Christian, I have no doubt ; and this it is evident the 
Fathers considered it to do ; but the earliest and best of them, 
at least, did not, as we have seen, refer it to that exclusively, 
nor give the least countenance, but the contrary, to our oppo- 
nents' application of it. That the passage, therefore, can be 
taken as proving any such sacrifice, when the Fathers so clearly 
testify that the spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise fully 
satisfy the meaning of it, cannot of course be admitted. 

I need hardly obser\e, that the argument is, like almost 
all those of our opponents, an arrow taken from the quiver of 
the Romanists, and thus is it replied to by their own wit- 
ness, Bishop Morton. " As little help can they hope for 
" from the second place of Malachie, which the most Fathers 
" expound of other spiritual sacrifices, such as is the preaching 

non terrenis sacrificiis sed spiritalibus Deo litandnm sit, ita legimns nt scrip- 
turn est ; Cor contribulatum et humiliatum hostia Deo est. Et alibi ; Sacri- 
fica Deo sacrificium laudis, et redde Altissimo vota tna. Sic itaque sacrificia 
spiritalia laudis desigiiantur, et cor contribulatum acceptabile sacrificium Deo 

demonstratur De spiritalibus vero sacrificiis addit, dicens, Et in omni 

loco sacrificia munda ofierentur nomini meo, dicit Dominus." Tebtxtix. Adv. 
Jud. c. 5. Op. ed. 1664. pp. 187, 8. 

* " Ut pariter concurreret et Malachiae propbetia, * Xon est voluntas mea, 
dicit Dominus, . . . et in omni loco sacrificium nomini meo ofiertur, et sacri- 
ficium mundum;' gloria scilicet relatio, ethenedictio et latis et hymni." Tee- 
TULL. Adv. Marc. iii. 22. Op. ed. 1664. p. 410. 

* " Dieente Malacbia, ' Xon est volmitas mea in vobis . . . et in omni loco 
sacrificium nomini meo offertur, et sacrificium mundum,' scilicet simplex oratio 
ie conscientia jmra." TEBTUiir. Adv. Marc iv. 1. Op. ed. 1664. pp. 413, 414. 

3 See HiEEoy. in Zech, c. 8. w. 7, 8. 


^ of the Gospel (Tertull.), sacrifice of prayers from a pure 
" heart (Euseb.) ; sacrifice of all gifts of devotion offered in 
" Christian assemblies (Iren. & Just. Mart.) ; the sacrifice of 
" all godly actions (Euseb.) ; and such like .... But what 
" shall we need to prove our interpretation of this text to be 
'' true whereunto their own great doctor, Montanus, hath so 
*' fully subscribed ?" It " must be expounded, as their own 
** Montanus sheweth, of spiritual sacrifice. 1 Pet. ii. 9. Yc 
" are a royal priesthood. Rev. i. 6. Even kings and priests 
" unto God. Ar. Mont, in Mal."^ 

Still further, we have positive evidence in Scripture against 
such a notion. How is it to be reconciled, for instance, with 
what is said in the Epistle to the Hebrews, where the Apostle, 
after having spoken of the frequently-recurring sacrifices of 
the Old Testament, contrasts with them the " one '* sacrifice of 
the New. " This man," he says, " after he had offered one 
" sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right liand of 
" God . . . For hy one offering ht hiXh perfected for ever them 
" that are sanctified, whei-eof the Holy Ghost also is a witness 

*' to us their sins and iniquities will I remember no 

" more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more 
" offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to 
" enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus . . . . let us 
'' draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,'* &c. 
{Heb. X. 12 et seq.) Words cannot more clearly show, that 
there is no such sacrifice appointed under the New Testament 
as the Tractators dream of. For, the sacrifice advocated by 
them is as much a propitiatory sacrifice as were any of those 
of the Old Testament. For they had no value in them- 
selves, but only as they represented the ono great sacrifice. 

And the true nature of the cucharist is very forcibly shown 
in a passage of the same Apostle elsewhere : " Christ our 
" passover," he says, " is sacrificed [lOvdt], has been sacrificed) 
" for us, therefore let us keep the feast.'* (1 Cor. v. 7, 8.) 
The sacrifice, then, has been already offered, and it remains 
for us to keep the feast in thankful remembrance of it, and 
thanksgiving to God for its benefits. 

' Mobxon's Cath. App. ii. 7. § 2. p. 167. 


Let US now proceed to inquire, what the language of the 
earlier Fathers is on this subject. 

We have already had occasion to observe the terms in which 
Ircnaeus speaks of the sacrifice in the eucharist, and wc learn 
from him, that the sacrifice, as far as regarded the elements 
themselves, was an oblation of them to God either before or 
in the act of consecration, not after, — not as the symbols of 
Christ's body and blood, but as his creatures of bread and 
wine, — that, having received his blessing, they might after- 
wards be partaken of, with a grateful remembrance of God's 
mercies, temporal and sjnritual. 

And in another place he speaks still more clearly, — "It 
" becomes us to make an oblation to God, and to be found in 
" all things grateful to God our Creator, offering to him with 
" a pure mind and faith without hypocrisy, in firm hope, in 
" fervent love, the firstfruits of his creatures. And this pure 
" oblation the Church alone offers to the Creator, offering to 
" him of his creature with thanksgiving."^ 

This oblation, or sacrifice, then, is altogether different from 
that for which our opponents contend ; and this sacrifice, as 
Mede observes, is in effect offered, " so often as we set the 
" bread and wine upon the holy table ; for, whatsoever we set 
" upon God's table is ipso facto dedicated and offered unto him." 
Such an oblation or sacrifice, therefore, is virtually made, whe- 
ther recognised or not, whenever the eucharist is celebrated. 
Even Bullinger seems to admit, that the bread and wine 
may in this sense be considered oblations, observing, that " it 
" was a very common custom in the anticnt Churches to offer 
" bread and wine in the holy congregation for the use of the 
" ministers and the poor, from which also was taken the 
" bread and wine which were set forth in the Lord's Supper. 
" We may see this in Cyprian and other antient writers. And 

^ " Oportet enim nos oblationem Deo facere et in omnibus grates inveniri 
Fabricatori Deo, in sententia pura et fide sine hypocrisi, in spe firma, in di- 
lectione ferventi, primitias earum quae sunt ejus creaturarum offerentes. Et 
banc oblationem Ecclesia sola puram [pura legit Grab.^ offert Fabricatori, of- 
ferens ei cum gratiarum actione ex creatine cju-s." Irek. Adv. Haer. ix. 18. 
p. 251. ed. Mass. (iv. 34. p. 326. ed. Grab.) 


" of these oblations there is frequent mention in the collects 
" of the Masses."^ And so far as concerns an oblation or 
sacrifice of the elements, of this kind, in the eucharist, it is, aii 
the learned Pfaflf has observed, a mere logomachy to contend 
about it.~ 

And such an oblation is implied in our Service when the 
bread and wine are dedicated to a sacred use in the Prayer of 
Ci)nsecration ; and when we say, — " Grant that we receiving 
" THESE thy creatur'es of bread and wine, according to thy Son 
" our Saviour Jesus Christ's holy institution, in remembrance 
" of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most 
" blessed body and blood," — we, as it were, direct the atten« 
tion of our heavenly Father to the elements as placed upon 
his Table, and recognise them as there offered up for his service, 
to be applied to the sacred purpose of representing the body 
and blood of Christ. But it is obvious, that such an oblation 
differa toto coelo from that for which our opponents contend, 
which is an oblation of the consecrated elements to God a» 
symbolically the body and blood of Christ, as a sacrifice like the 
sacrifices of the Old Testament, to be offered moreover by the 
priest solely, acting in a strictly sacerdotal character, and which 
obtains for the Church remission of sins.^ 

' " Adjiciinus illis, receptiasiinmn fuiase eocleuis illis vetustis cibum et potum 
uiferre ui euetu sacro ad usum miiiistrurum et paupenim, ex quibus deligebatar 
etiaui paiiis et \dnuin, qua^ in Cceiia Domiui propoueboutur. Videre hoc licet in 
Cj'priaiio et aliis vetustis scriptoribiis. Harum vero oblationuni frequeiis fit 
mentio in Missarum collectis," &c. BuLiiiNGEK. De orig. erroris, lib. ii. c. 4. 
Tigur. 1568. fol. 106. 

^ " Ut vero seuteutiaui nostrain candide dicamus, omnliio arbitramur, banc de 
oblatioiie panis vinique coutrovei-siam in uieras Koyofiaxias abire. Fanem 
quippe vinumque, quibus Eueharistia conficitur, Deo consecraiiduui, dedicandum, 
jirecibusque offerendum esse quis negaverit ?" C. M. Pfaffii Dissert, de 
oblatione vet. euchar. ad fin. Ireu. Fragm. Anecd. Haga? Com. 1715. p. 344. 

^ In the lii*st edition of this work, I remarked here, that when in the Prayer 
for the Church Militant we beg of Gotl to receive our " alms and oblation*," 
the term " oblations" referred to the bread and wine, as lieing oflered by the 
people, who now provide them as of old they used themselves to bring them. 
Speaking theologically, I still see no objection to the use of the word in this 
sense ; but further consideration has made me very doubtful whether the word 
was intended to be usetl in that sense in our Prayer-book. Amidst the various 
arguments that may lie alleged on each side of the question, there is one on the 


Still more plainly speaks (as we have seen) Justin Martyr, 
who, overlooking altogether, in one passage we have quoted, 
any material sucritice in the eucharist, from its comparative 

ncgutivo sidu which I c-aiiiiut \^vi wvr. The* luarginal rubric to the Prayer (ur 
the Church Militant Mtyk, -" If tliure be nu alma or oUaHomi, then Bhall tlu* 
wortU 'of accvptiug <mr aliiu* tuid ubUtiuiu' be left oat onaaid." It ta orm- 
aidored poaaiblc, therufurc, that there may Im; neither aliiin nor oblalioHM, though 
in the preceding rubric the prieat had joat been directed Ui phiett the liread and 
wine on the Table. Henoa it iMiua Mceaarilj to fcOow, tluit the brtad and 
wine are not meant by tlie word "obktiona.'* 

And I think that, ujxju refarenoe to the former Frayer-Boolu, and tb« 
cuatom of our Chureli, we ahall easily find the true meaning of the word. It 
waa tint introduced itt the reririon in 1662. Now, it had been tha ewtoui of 
our Church from the Reformation to tiare two diatioct caUe ct ioBa made at tha 
period of the Ottertory, one consinting of " alma" for the poor, whidi wera 
put at once into the poor man's box, without being brought to the Lord'* 
Table at all ; the other consisting of " offeringH" to the mini»t«r, which were 
paid to bim personally at the Communion -Table. This we ietim from the 
rubrics of the previoui* l*rayer-lk)ok8. Tlie rubric in tliat of 1&49 waa, — 
" \Mnles the clerks do sing the Offertory, so many as arc dijipoaed ahall offer to 
the ixx)r man's box, every one according to his ability and charitable mind. 
And at the offering days appointed, erery man and woman sliall jjay to the 
Curate the due and accustomed offerings." In the Prayer-Booka of 1552, 1559, 
and 1604, the rubric was, " Then shall the Cliurchwardena, or aomc other by 
them appoint<Kl, gather the devotion of the people, and put the same into th» 
poor man's box ; and upon the offering days appointed, every man and woman 
shall pay to the Curate the due and accustomed offerings." It had, I suppoae, 
been found inconvenient, that the jieople should be all going themselves to the 
poor man's box, and therefore persons were appmnted to collect from them io 
their seats. And correspondent to this double collection in the Offertory were 
the Sentences to be read in it ; some of them relating solely to gifts to the 
poor, some solely to gifts to the clergy, and some applicable to both. And in a 
note on this rubric, in the handwriting of Bp. Cosin, it is said, " It was one 
of the Injimctions set forth by the authority of K. Henry viii. in the Convoca- 
tion of his clergy, a. 1536, to be generally ob8er\ed in the Church of England, 
♦That the Feasts of the Xati\-ity of our Lord, [add, of Easter,] of the Nativity 
of St. John Baptist, and of St. Michael the Archangel, sliall be accounted, 
accepted, and taken for the four geiieral offering-days : which obd£K 18 
AMOXG us iif SOME PLACES STILL OBSEEVED." (Additional notes on Com- 
munion-Service, p. 42 ; inserted at end of Dr. Mcholls' Comment on the Book 
of Common Prayer, 1710. fol.) 

But it appears, that this custom of the people all coming up to the minister 
to present him with their offerings was found inconvenient ; and consequently 
in a Paper drawn up by Bishop Cosin, entitled " Particulars to be considered, 
explained, and corrected in the Book of Common Prayer," (to which, says Dr. 


want of value, places the sacrifice wholly in the prayers and 
thanksgivings offered. *' Prayers and thanksgivings made by 
the worthy," says Justin Martyr, speaking of the sacrifices of 
the New Testanient mentioned by Malachi, "are the only 

Nicholls, " it is plain " that the Reviewer* of the Book in 1662 " had very great 
regard," " they having altered most things according as was therein danred,") 
we find the following suggestion, — " In the Rubric following the Sentepcee of 
the Offertory, ' The Churchwardens, or some other by them appointed,' are 
ordered to ' gather the devotions of the people, and to put the same into the 
poor man's box ;' which beuig seldom or never ob8cr\'ed in most Churches, nor 
agreeing to the divers Sentenct^, before set d<jwn, would [? sliould] be otherwis«s 
here ordered or explained. And the accustomed offerings to the Curate are here 
apjwinted to be ' paid by every man or woman, after which done the priest 
shall suy,' kc, which if it should he thu» ohstrced, aiul at this time wk»m tkay 
come to receive the communion, would breed a ifreut digturLaitce im the Church, 
attd take up more time than can be allowed for that purpote. Wherefore it is 
ueedfiil, that some alteration were uutde of this Rubric, and that TUB ofvek- 


Coumunion-Table,^oi' such uses a* be peculiarity named in the Sentences them 
read by him." (Addit. Notes, &c., p. 61), at end of Dr. Nicholls' Comm., 4c.) 
Here we see distinctly the lueaumg of the expressions in the present rubric, and 
the grounds which led to their adoption, and to the change made iu the mode 
of collecting. According to the advice here tendered, the c-oUectiou for both 
purjwses was to be made by j)ersons appointed for tliat purpose, and all brought 
to the priest to be by him laid ui)on the Communlou-Table ; and the coUectiou 
made was to be applie<l to the purposes mentioned in the Sentences reml at the 
time ; so tlmt it might be applied either lolely as alms for the poor, or solely 
as offerings or oblations for the clergy, or as both. 

It may be well to add, that Bishop Andrews had long before suggested, that 
the people " should not pay the offering to the Cxirate alone, but to God upon 
the altar ; from whence the Curate has his warrant to take it, as deputed by 
him," &c. (Addit. Notes, &c. p. 42 ; in Dr. Nicholls' Comment. &c.) 

And in strict accordfuice with this suggestion of Bishop Cosin and the inter- 
pretation I have given to it, is the new rubric inserted at the review in 1662, 
which runs thus, — " Whilst these Sentences are in reading, the Deacons, Clmrch- 
wai'dens, or other fit pei-son ajjpointed for that purjiose, shall receive the aluia 
for the poor, ami other devotions of the people, in a decent basin to be provided 
by the Parish for that purpose ; and reverently brhig it to the Priest, who shall 
humbly present and place it upon the holy Table." And by a new rubric in- 
troduced at the end of the Service to meet this new arrangement, it is directed, 
that " the money given at the Oftertory sliall be disposed of to such pious and 
charitable uses as the Minister and Churchwardens sliall think fit. ^Mierein if 
they disagi-ee, it shall be lUsiwscd of as the Ordinary shall appouit." By wluch 
rubric the apiwrtiomucnt of the sum collected, either to the maiutciiuuce of the 


" perfect and acceptable Kaeriticcs to God. ThcHe alone Clirus- 
*' tiam have been taiujht tu perform, both for a uicinorial of 
" their food both as to meat and drink, and one in which a 
" commemoration is made of the passion which God [rtW, the 
" Son] of God offered for them."* The oblation of the elements 
themselves is here as it were put out of sight as coviparativehj 
of no moment, and the memorial is made to consist wholly in 
the " prayers and thanksgivings " oflfered. 

clergy, the general puqwrn-s of tlie Cluirch, or the relief of the poor, ta left t<) th« 
diicretion of tlie MiniHter und Church wardeiw. 

In further ilhwtration of the u«e of the" wonl " ohlationii" in thk ■erne, w« 
may ob«ervo, tliat the rubric in the Scotch Liturgy, drawn up under Land'i sa- 
pervinion in 1637, tlirects, tlmt " one of the Churchwardeim sliall reoeivethed«> 
votions of the j^eople then present in a \yamn provided for that purpow. And 
when all liave olfereti, he shall reverently bring the aaid buon with th« 
OBLATiOKS THEREIN, and deliver it to the Presbyter, who shall humbly 
present it before the Lord, and set it upon the holy Table ;" and by another 
rubric it is ordered, that, " after the Divine Service ended, tliat which wa« offered 
shall be dividetl in the presence of the Preabytermndthe Cliurchwardens, whereof 
one half shall he to the use of the Preabyter to provide him bookt of holy 
divinity ; the other half shall be faithiiilly kept and employed on Mtne pions or 
charitable use, for the decent furnishing of that Church, or the public relief of 
their poor, at the discretion of the I^resbj-ter and Churchwardens." 

Of course it is unnecessary to show, that there is abundant authority for the 
use of the word " oblations " in such a sense; as for instance in the rubric of 
the Scotch Liturgy of 1637 just quoted, and constantly in our best writers od 
such subjects. 

It may be added, that, originally, that is, in the first reformed Prayer-Book 
of 1549, the oblations to the clergy were to include a sum of money to be given 
every Simday for the cost of the elements, which were at tliat time to be pro- 
vided by the minister. The rubric says, — " And forasmuch as the Pastors and 
Curates within this realm shall continually find of their costs and charges in 
their Cures sufficient bread and wine for the holy Commimion, (as oft as their 
Parishioners shall be disposed for their spiritual comfort to receive the same,) 
it is therefore ordered, that in recompense of such costs and charges the 
Parishioners of every Parish shall ofler every Sunday, at the time of the Ofier- 
tory, the just value and price of the holy loaf, (with all such money and other 
things as were wont to be offered with the same,) to the use of their Pastors 
and Curates, and that in such order and course as they were wont to find and 
pay the said holy loaf." (Bubr. at end of Comm. Serv.) From this portion of 
the oblations to the clergy the people were exempted at the next revision of the 
Liturgy, in 1552, and have continued so ever since; the Churchwardens 
being directed to supply the bread and wine at the cost of the Parish. 
• » See pp. 230, 231 above. 


There is also another remarkable passage in his first Apo- 
logy to the same effect. " Who, therefore, in his senses," he 
says, "will not confess, that we are not atheists, who.worship 
" the Maker of this Universe, and say, as we have been taught, 
" that he is in no need of blood and libations, and incense, 
" praising him to the best of our ability for all the blessings 
" we enjoy, with the words of prayer and thanksyiviiig} both 
" on account of our creation and all the means of health, and 
" the qualities of his productions, and the changes of seasons, 
" and uttering supplications that we may again enjoy eternal 
" life through faith which is in him ; having been taught, that 
" this honour is alone such as is worthy of him, namely, not to 
" consume by fire those things that were given by him for 
" food, but to apply them for our own use and that of those 
" who are in want, and with hearts grateful to him to send 
" forth by words devotions and hymns." ^ 

Nothing can well be more explicit and to the point than 
this passage. 

Nor should we overlook the account given by Justin Martyr 
of the primitive form of the Eucharistic Service, because, if our 
opponents* views were correct, we could hardly fail to find 
there some notice of their supposed sacrifice. But do we find 
it ? These are his words : — " There is then brought to him 
" who presides over the brethren [assembled] bread, and a cup 
" of water and wine ; and he having taken them pours forth 
" praise and glory to the Father of all, through the name of 
" the Son and Holy Spirit, and makes a thanksgiving for our 
" being considered worthy of these things by Him ; and when 

' A6y<i> (iixvs Ko.) fvxapiffrlas i<p' oh itpoff<pfp6fi.f0a -raaiv, Sajj Svfofiis <uVoi/y- 
Tfs. The Benedictine translation of i(p' oTs w. r. " in his omnibus qua offe- 
rimus" would require vpoatpfpofifv. The word rpo<nf>tp6fi(da is, I conceive, of 
the middle voice. 

- Mo'viji' CL^lay avrov ti/x^j' touttjk ■irapa\a$6yT(s, rh rei inr' (Kiivov us Siarpo<pri» 
yfi'6fj.fya, ov vvpl Savav^y, oAA' favTo7s Kcd to7s SfOfifyois irpoatpfpfiy, tKfly<i> Se 
fvxapiffrovs oyras, Sia \6yov iro^iros /col vfxyovs vffiirfiy. JrST. Mabt. Apol. 
1. § 13. Op. ed. Ben. pp. 50, 51. The word wofiwits (if it be really the true 
reading) has, I suppose, a reference to the ceremonies of the heathen in honour 
of theii- gods, but the words Stck \6yov clearlj- show to what sort of Christian 
acts of religious devotion it refers. 


" he has ended the prayers and the thanksgiving, all the people 
" present assent, saying, Amen. But Amen in the Hebrew 
" tongue signifies so be it. And the president having given 
" thanks, and all the people assented, those that are called by 
" us, deacons, distribute to each of those present of the bread 
*' and w ine and water over which thanks have been thus given, 
" to be partaken of by them ; and carry part away to those 
" that were not present,"^ And further on he repeats the 
account in words of precisely the same import.^ 

1 ask with confidence. Is this account reconcileable with 
the notions of our opponents ? Is there here any such 
sacrifice, or altar, or priest, as they dream of ? No ; here 
we have in its original simplicity the sacred rite instituted 
by our Lord, and delivered to us in the Scriptures of the 

Lastly, Tertullian, as we have seen, invariably describes the 
sacrifice of the New Testament mentioned by Malaehi, as a 
" spiritual" sacrifice, " the sacrifice of praise," " the ascription 
of glory, and benediction, and praise, and hymns," " sincere 
prayer from a pure conscience." ^ 

Now, whether there was, or was not, at a subsequent 
period, an oblation of the elements after consecration, such ob- 
lation, also, being then considered more peculiarly the external 
sacrificial part of the eucharist, I argue thus : Is it possible to 
reconcile the language of Irenaus and Justin Martyr with the 
supposition that it was so in their time, or at least in their 
part of the Church, which is enough for our purpose ? 
I submit with confidence that it is not. I say, not merely 

^ ''ETrejTa irpo(T<pepfTai rf irpoforciri twv aS€\(pa>y &pros, koI vor-fipioy SSaros 
KOI Kpd/AOTos [afterwards called oti/ov^. Ka) ovtos Ka^wy, cuvov koI ^6i,ai> t^ 
TlaTpX Ttiv oKwv BicL Tov 6v6/j.aros tov Tiov /ecu rod Hyev)j.aros tov aylov avairffi- 
irer koI evxc-ptcrriav irrrtp tov KaTri^icUffdai rovroiv trap avrov fir\ voXv Troifirau- 
oxj awreXiaaVTOS ras eux^s /co2 t))v evxapicrriay, ttSj 6 irapuiv Kahs iTr(v<p7}fiu 
\fyuy, afiriy. Tb 5« a/jL^y, t^ E)3pat5i (pwy^, rh yivono arifuiiyet. Euxapto'''~fl- 
aavTos 5e tov TrpofCTTwros, Kcd iirev(p7]^i)(rayTos iravThs tov \a.ov, ol KoXovfityoi 
Trap' 7]fny StaKoyoi SiSoaaiy eKdffTcp tuv Trap6yTwy ixeTa\afie7y airh tov ivxapiffrri- 
6tyTos &pTov Kcii oXvov Kol vBaTos, KoX To7s oil irapov<riv h.iro<p4povffi. JrST. 
Mabt. Apol. 1. § 65. Op. ed. Benwl. pp. 82, 83. 

' lb. § 67. p. 83. 

2 See pp. 371, 372 above. 


that our opponents^ notion of the nature and effects of 
this sacrifice is opposed by their testimony, because that is 
opposed by all pure Antiquity, but also that these testimonies 
are distinctly opposed to the notion that there was at that 
time any such oblation or sacrifice as a second oflfering up of 
the elements, taking place after their consecration. For had 
it been so, this would have been more especially and peculiarly 
that part of the Service which had the sacrificial character, as 
our opponents (justly according to their view) represent it to 
be, whereas Irenaeus expressly represents the sacrificial part of 
it, as far as concerns any sacrifice of the elements themselves, to 
consist in the oblation of the bread and wine as the first" 
fruits of God's creatures, in order that they may be applied to 
the purposes of the eucharist, and speaks of this as the sacri- 
fice of the New Testament referred to by Malachi; while 
Justin Martyr and Tertullian, overlooking generally any 
material sacrifice in the eucharist, place the sacritice wholly in 
the prayers and thanksgivings that are oflFered up, even that 
offering up of the true sacrifice of the cross to God upon the 
altar of the heart, which is presented by every faithful 
worshipper when receiving the outward memorials of that 

The breaking of the bread and the pouring out of the 
wine that take place in the Communion, are a commemoration 
of the sacrifice of the cross, and this act of commemoration, (in 
which every communicant partakes,) when accompanied with 
faithful thanksgivings for the sacrifice it represents, is an 
acceptable sacrifice to God. We deny not, therefore, be it 
observed, that there is a sacrifice offered to God in this part of 
the Service, but it is a sacrifice oi personal service, not of the 
elements, and performed by every communicant, and although 
that personal service consists partly in outward actions, its far 
more important and essential part is in the feehngs of the 
heart towards God. 

A better statement of the whole question can hardly perhaps 
be found than is given by our opponents' own witness Bishop 
White. "Touching the name and title of sacrifice, our 


" Church givcth the same to the holy eucharist ; and that not 
" only ill reHpect of certain piotis actions annexed unto it, to 
" wit, prayer, thanksgiving, alms, &c. — Horn. xii. 1. 1 Pet. 
" ii. 5. — but in regard of the cucharist itself; wherein first 
" the outward element8 of bread and wine, receiving the 
" calling of God, (Iren. 1. 4. c. 34.) are made sacred and ap- 
" pointed to divine worship, 1 Cor. xi. 26, and become 
" instruments of grace to men. Secondly, the body and 
" blood of Christ, prksent to the soul, are, by the faith 
" AND devotion of the pastor and people which receive these 
" mysteries, presented and tendered to God, with request that 
" he will vouchsafe for the merit thereof to bestow grace and 
" remission of sins, and other benefits upon them."^ 

That any argument can be derived by our opponents from 
the word sacrifice being used with reference to the eucharist, 
is obviously inadmissible, because the word is constantly used 
by the Fathers in a sense wholly spiritual, and signifying only 
prayers or oflferings of the heart. This we have already seen 
in several instances, which are the more pertinent to our 
present subject, as having an especial reference to the eucha- 
rist ; but of general instances it would be easy to add many 
more. "We sacrifice," says Tertullian, "for the safety of the 
" Emperor, but to our God and his, and in the manner in which 
" God hath directed, namely, with pure prayers."'^ " A good 
spirit, a pure mind, a sincere conscience . . . these,'* says 
Minucius Felix, "are our sacrifices, these are God's sacred 
offerings."^ And so indeed is the word frequently used by 
the Apostles in the New Testament.* 

And Bishop INIorton has showTi, that this word is also used 
with respect to baptism, adding, " Wherefore by this analogy 

> F. White's Orthodox Faith and Way to the true Church expMned. In 
edition annexed to the Works of John WTiite, p. 158. 

2 " Sacrificamus pro salute Imperatoris, sed Deo nostro et ipsius, sed quo- 
modo prsecepit Deus, pura prece." TEEirLL. Ad Soap. c. 2. Op. ed. 1664. 
p. 69. See also his Apologet. c. 30. 

3 " Bonus animus et pura mens et sincera conscientia .... haec nostra sa- 
crificia, haec Dei sacra sunt." Mix. Fel. De idoL vanit. ed. Oxon. 1678. p. 95. 

♦ See Kom. xii. 1. Pliil. iv. 18. Heb. xiii. 15, 16. 1 Pet. ii. 5. 


" between these two sacraments of baptism and the eucharist, 
" we may conclude out of the testimony of St. Augustine, 
" recorded by their antient schoolman Aquinas, * that signs 
" are called by the names of those things which they do repre- 
" sent, as for example, of the painted image of Cicero we use 
" to say, this is Cicero. And so the celebration of this sacra- 
" ment, which is a representation of Christ's passion, the true 
" immolation or sacrificing, is called an immolation/' ^ 

The application, thei'cfore, of this word sacrifice to the 
eucharist by the Fathers proves nothing in favour of our 

If, then, the testimony of Scripture, and of the earliest 
Fathers, is opposed to the notion of such a sacrifice as our 
opponents contend for in the eucharist, the other three pro- 
positions are disproved in the refutation of this. 

But we must not pass them over without notice, for in 
them lies the poison of the whole doctrine. That there 
should be such a sacrifice made in the eucharist, is a matter 
far from unimportant. But that such a doctrine as that 
of our opponents should be held respecting it, is a matter of 
vast moment, embracing as it does some of the worst errors 
of the Romish system. 

It is maintained, then, secondly, by the Tractators, that 
the minister performs this act in a strictly sacerdotal cha- 

This notion has been already completely overthrown by the 
testimonies of Tertullian and Justin ISIartyr, adduced in a 
former page, to which I refer the reader. ^ In these passages 
Tertullian and Justin Martyr assert, with particular respect to 
the sacrifice of the eucharist, that all Christians are priests to 
God. It thence clearly follows, that in the eucharist the 
minister is but the guide and leader of the devotions of the 
people. It is worthy of observation, that the word used to 
describe the Levitical priests, (tepcis,) is never used in the New 

> Morton's Cath. App. ii. 7. § 8. pp. 173, 4, and see his Treatise of the In- 
stitution of the Sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, ed. 1635. 
2 See pp. 228, 230 above. 


Testament for the ministers of Christ, but wherever it is used, 
it is applied as a general term for the whole body of believers.^ 
Nor is the term so applied by the Apostolical Fathers or 
Justin Martyr. One passage only occurs in their genuine 
remains that has ever been thought of as an instance, namely, 
in Ignatius,- where Pearson, Smith, and Markland understand 
it of Levitical priests, and in Jacobson's view rightly. 

I know not, indeed, how any man can read the Epistle to 
the Hebrews, and persevere in maintaining such a notion as 
that which we are here opposing. 

The Apostle in that Epistle seems with studied assiduity to 
impress upon our minds the fact, that with us there is but 
one sacrifice and one priest, a sacrifice all-prevalent for the 
full remission of sins, and a priest who, being eternal, for ever 
liveth to present it, and make intercession for us ; and that, 
consequently, every true Christian has, at all times, a sacrifice 
and a priest to present it for him to God, without the interven- 
tion of any other person or thing whatever.^ And the service of 
the eucharist differs only {as far as the act of worship in it is 
concerned) from the private services of the Christian in his 
closet, from its being accompanied by certain external acts, 
indicative and expressive of our thankful remembrance of and 
faith in the sacrifice of the cross, in which the minister does 
nothing but as the hand and voice of the whole assembly, as 
all pure Antiquity bears witness. 

And, further, we may remark, that St. Paul, when speaking 
of the ministers of the Old and New Testament, describes the 
former as " they which wait at the altar,^' and the latter as 
" they which preach the gospel,"* a distinction very different 
from what he w ould have drawn had he held the views of the 

And so far is Hooker, whom our opponents have quoted as 
a maintainer of their views, from supporting them in this, that 

1 Rev. i. 6 ; v. 10 ; and see 1 Pet. ii. 5, 9. 

2 KaXol /col ol Upels. Igkat. Epist. ad Philad. § 9. Apud Pate. Apost. 
ed. Jacobson. torn. ii. p. 390. 

3 See partlculaxly Heb. vii. 23—28. viii. 1, 6. x. 19—22. 
* 1 Cor. ix. 13, 14. 


he distinctly says, (as already quoted,) " In truth the word 
''presbyter doth seem more fit, and in propriety of speech 
" more agreeable, than priest, with the drift of the whole 
" gospel of Jesus Christ ;" ' which he never would have said, 
had he held our opponents' views, but merely drawn the (/w- 
tinction which they draw between the Levitical priest and the 
Christian priest, as the one ofi"ering bloody and the other 
unbloody sacrifices, and not have given up the appellation 
altogether, and substituted presbyter for it. 

Not, indeed, as I have already intimated, that the use of 
such a word is a matter of any great moment, because we hold, 
with Hooker, that there is no reason why " the very name of 
*' altar, of priest, of sacrifice itself, should be banished out of the 
" world.*' " For," adds that judicious writer, " though God do 
" now hate sacrifice, whether it be heathenish or Jewish, so 
" that we cannot have the same things which they had but with 
" impiety ; yet unless there be some greater let than the only 
*' evacuation of the Law of Moses, the names themselves may 
" (I hope) be retained without sin, in respect of that proportion 
" which things established by our Saviour have unto them 
" which by him are abrogated ; and so throughout all the 
" writings of the antient Fathers we see, that the words which 
" were, do continue ; the only difference is, that whereas before 
" they had a literal, they now have a metaphorical use, and 
*' are as so many notes of remembrance unto us, that what 
" they did signify in the letter, is accomplished in the truth."- 

And we say with Archbishop Whitgift, — " I am not greatly 
*•' delighted with the name, [i. e. priest,'\ nor so desirous to 
" maintain it ; but yet a truth is to be defended. I read in 
*' the old Fathers, that these two names, Sacerdos and Pres- 
" bytcTy be confounded. I see, also, that the learned and the 
" best of our English writers, such, I mean, as write in these 
" our days, translate the word Presbyter so ; and the very 
" word itself, as it is used in our English tongue, soundeth 
'• the word Presbyter. As heretofore use hath made it to be 

' See p. 356 above. 
- Hookeb's Ekxl. Pol. bk. iv. c. 11. 


" taken for a sacrificer, so will use now alter that signification, 
" and make it to be taken for a minister of the gosj/el. But 
" it is mere vanity to contend for the name, when we at/ree of 
" the thing." ^ So that with respect to " the thing,*' the Arch- 
bishoj) agreed with his opponent, the Puritan Cartwright. 
And in another place he says, — "I suppose it [the word 
" prie8C\ Cometh of this word presbyter, not of tacerdot, and 
" then the matter is not great. "^ The word priest, therefore, 
has been freely used by our divines, not merely as the English 
for presbyter, but just as Uptvi and tacerdot were Bome- 
times used by the Fathers, namely, as significative of that 
office under the New Testament, which corresponds (as far as the 
genius of the two Dispensations admits) to that which the 
priests held under the Old, just as the words altar and sacrifice 
may be used to denote those things which have a sort of cor- 
respondence to those that were so called under the Old 

1 will only add here, on this head, a passage of Cyprian, 
where the phraseology seems to me clearly to show, that the 
people were considered as much sacrificers as the priest. 
" When," says Cyprian, " we come together with the brethren, 
" and celebrate the divine sacrifices with God's priest, we ought 
" to be mindful of modesty and discipline."* Would this 
language have been used, if the sacrifice was ofiered only by the 
priest ? Would it have been used under the Old Testament ? 
Moreover, I shall show, under the next head, that long after 
this, even if the custom of the post-consecration sacrifice 
could be shown to have prevailed, still the people were consi- 
dered as much the sacrificers as the priest. 

It is maintained, thirdly, by the Tractators, that by this 

' Whitgift's Def. of Answ. to Admon. p. 722. 

2 Whitgut's Answ. to Adm. in Def. of Answ. p. 721. See, also, Datb- 
lfA>'T, Determ. q. 13. p. 62. ed. la. 

3 See Bishop IIant's Expos, of the Ordination Services, in his Notes on the 
Common Prayer. 

* " Quando in nnnm cnm fratribus convenimns, et sacrificia dirina cinf Dei 
sacerdote ceUhramus, verecvmdise et disciplinae memores esse debemus." Ctpb. 
De orat. Dom. prope init. Op. ed. Fell. Pt. i. p. 140. (ed. Col. 1617. p. 156.) 


sacrifice, so offered by a priest, remissioii of sins is obtained 
for the whole Church.^ 

So that faithful laymen have nothing to do but to pay a 
priest for offering the sacrifice, or, as the Romanists would 
speak, for saying mass, and they have remission of sins. That 
their hearts should, by prayer and thanksgiving, offer up in 
that eucharist the true sacrifice of the cross to God for their 
pardon, is no instrument in the impetration of that pardon. 
No ; the priest is the mediator and intercessor between God 
and the people ; and by his act in sacrificing, and not through 
any act of theirs, remission of sins is obtained for them. And 
thus the Christian minister, set apart for the sake of the good 
order and well-being of the Church, to lead the devotions of the 
people, and preside over their assemblies for public worship, 
and exhort them to their spiritual duties, is turned into a sa- 
crificing priest, making an atonement for the sins of the people ; 

' If any of my readers have any doubt as to the correctness of tlie repre- 
sentation I have here given of the doctrine of our opponents, I wouhl atlvise 
them to refer to a Uttle treatise lately re-published at Oxford, wTitten by 
" J. Scandret, Priest of the Church of England," entitled, " Sacritiee the 
divuxe service ;" in which the author tells us, that " the true and proper mom" 
of " the woi-d sacrifice ," is " to signify and express amou^ us the oblatioii of 
the Christian Clnirch, which the priest makes at th : "lt«r, u the great work 
of liis high office and place, to render Ood propitious to man." (p. 43.) " So 
vain are some in their expressions of this kind, as to ascribe to prayer our com- 
munion with Ood, which one would tlxink that every Christian should know 
to be had only by our partakmg of the great Christian oblation," (pp. 50, 51.) 
" Does the Christian priest," he asks, as of an absurd notion, " at the Chris- 
tian altar offer the great oblation, a* personating the Christian congregation V 
(p. 57.) " The sacrifice of the priesthood is prevalent, above all things in this 
world, to render God propitious to them." (p. 63.) " They [the Bishops and 
priests] unite Ood to us, ami us to God, by appearing between both with the 
sacrifice of peace" (p. 64.) " The pardon of sin is the work of God, and of 
Jesus Clirist as our Priest and Sacrifice in the truth ; and of Ut tmhiHMff 
priests under him, by making the appointed demand thereof, even fty bringimg 
into Ood's presetice the prevailing sacrifices of his Son in the commanded re- 
presentations thereof" (pp. 126, 7.) " The oflerings and remission of sin, 
which earthly priests do make and procure to us . . . As it [i. e. remission 
of sins] was to be had under the Law, by the Law sacrifices, so under the 
Gospel, by the new oblation of the New Testament." (p. 194.) " The great 
Christian sacrifice does take away sin, as the Jewish sacrifices did under the 
Law." (p. li;»9.) 

C C 2 


and the offering up of the consecrated elements by him to God, 
is a true propitiatory sacrifice, by which, instrumentally, re- 
mission of sins is obtained for the Church. The Tractator has 
not even qualified his statements by the limitation which 
Harding himself admitted, in his controversy with Jewel, 
namely, by the words " where there is no stop nor let to the 
contrary, on the behalf of the receiver."^ I will give him, 
however, the full credit of meaning, that what he says is to be 
understood with such a limitation ; and we will suppose, fur- 
ther, that it is not the mere sacrificing act performed by the 
priest, but the act, as accompanied by intercessory prayer; 
(though I suspect that in this I am granting our opponents 
more than they would ask for ;) and what does it amount to ? 
That the faithful obtain remission of their sins, mediately and 
instrumentally, through the sacrifice performed by the priest, 
aye, even ex opere operato. And hence it is, that this part of 
the Service is performed by some of those who have embraced 
these views in the true Romish style ; that is, as if the people 
bore no part in it. 

Now, in this doctrine is contained the very essence of the 
Romish corruption of the true faith on this point. For it is 
here broadly maintained, that remission of sins is obtained for 
men, by a priest celebrating the eucharist ; nay, as we shall 
see presently, that the dead, whose sins committed after bap- 
tism, we are told elsewhere, remain uncancelled till the day of 
Judgment, and may, till then, be visited upon them in the 
Intermediate State, may, by a priest celebi-ating the eucharist, 
obtain an inci'ease of joy and refreshment ; amounting, in fact, 
to a remission of the punishment of sin. The consequence is, 
that the eucharist becomes a true propitiatory sacrifice, avail- 
able even for those who do not partake of it ; and men obtain 
remission of sins, not through their own faith and repentance, 
and prayers, and conformity to the ordinances of Christ, but 
through the sacrifice, commemorative of Christ's sacrifice, 
made by a priest in the eucharist. 

If this is the case, then are the private masses of the Church 

1 Jewel's Answ. to Harding, Art. 20. Work% p. 437. 


of Home both useful and laudable ; while, nevertheless, I would 
ask, with Bishop Jewel, where we can find "any one suffi- 
" cient sentence out of any old CathoUc doctor or father, or 
" out of any old General Council, or out of the Holy Scrip- 
" tures of God, or any one example of the Primitive Church, 
" whereby it may clearly and plainly be proved, that there was 
'' any private mass in the whole world at that time, for the 
" space of six hundred years after Christ ? " ^ And we further 
ask, with him, where we can find any such testimony for the 
proposition, " that it was then lawful for the priest to pro- 
" nounce the words of consecration closely, and in silence to 
" himself;"^ which, though our opponents do not, perhaps, 
actually do, because they might, in the Church of England, 
be called to account for it, yet miffht be done upon their prin- 
ciples,^ (I leave others to ascertain, whether it is not actually 
done sometimes, by the adoption of a manner which has th« 
same effect,) or, " that it was then thought a sound doctrine to 
" teach the people, that mass, ex opere operato, that is, even 
'^ for that it is said and done, is able to remove any part of 
" our sin/'* 

For a full reply to these three propositions, and overwhelm- 
ing evidence against them, both from Scripture and Fathers, 
I refer the reader to Bishop Jewel's invaluable " Reply to 

Of these three propositions, we say with him ; — Of the first, 
that in rejecting it, " we rest upon the Scriptures of God, upon 
" the authority of the antieut doctors and Councils, and upon 
" the universal practice of the most famous cities and Churches 
*' of the world ;"^ of the second, that it " hath been only re- 

^ Jewel's Keply to Uardiug, Art. 1. Works, p. 1. 

• Jewel's Reply to Harding, Art. 16. Works, p. 402. 

3 As Thomas Aquinas says, " The oblation and consecration belong only (o 
the priest, [which is the view of our opponents,] and therefore the words be 
spoken in silence, as nothing pertaining to the people." P. 3. q.l83, as dtedby 
Jewel, in reply to Harding, Art. 16. p. 4l07. 
^ * Jewel's Keply to Harding, Art. 20. Works, p. 437. 

» See Ai-t. 1, 16 and 20. 

* Jewel's Reply to Harding, Ai-t. 1. p. 71. 


" ceived in the Church of Rome, and nowhere else, and that 
" only for a time, and not from the beginning ; and therefore 
" mere particular, and no way universal, and m not Catholic ;" 
that it is " utterly void of any show, either of the Scriptures, 
" or of the old Councils, or antient Fathers, or of any manner 
" antiquity ;" and is " against S. AmbroHC, against S. Au- 
" gustine, against S. Chrysostom, against Leo, against his 
" own Clemens, against the whole Primitive Church, both 
" Greek and Latin, and against the decrees and traditions of 
" the Apostles ;" ^ and of the third, that " to ascribe felicity 
" or remission of sin, which is the inward work of the Holy 


" is a superstitious, a gross, and a Jewish error." ^ 

Now, it is very jiossible, that our opponents, like Harding 
himself, will strenuously deny, that this last proposition 
exhibits their view. When their view is made to stand forth 
in its naked deformity, they will, like Harding, beg the reader 
to turn away his eyes from it, until they have clothed it in 
garments which shall conceal its real shape ; and in the art of 
thus clothing their doctrines, it must be admitted that they 
are adepts. " It is Christ only," saith Harding, indignantly, 
" and none other thing, that is able to remove our sins ; 
" and that hath he done, by the sacrifice of his body once 
" done upon the cross." What can be more orthodox ? 
Again, " Christ, in his flesh crucified, is our only sacrifice, our 
" only price, our only redemption, whereby he hath merited 
" to us upon the cross, and with the price of his blood hath 
" bought the remission of our sins ; and St. John saith, ' he 
" is the propitiation for our sins.' .... And this, not for 
" that it is oflFered of the priest in the mass specially ; but for 
" that he ofiered it once himself, with shedding of his blood 
" upon the cross, for the redemption of all. Which oblation, 
" done upon the cross, is become a perpetual and continual 
" oblation ; not in the same manner of ofi'ering, but in the 
" same virtue and power of the thing ofiered. For, since that 
" time, the same body of Christ appearing always before the 
1 lb. Art. 16. p. 409. ' lb. Art. 20. p. 442. 


" face of God in heaven^ preseuteth and exhibiteth itself for 
" our reconciliation ; and likewise it is exhibited and offered 
" by his Qwn commandment, here in earth, in the mass, 
" where he is both priest and sacrihce, offerer and oblation, 
" verily and indeed, though in mystery, and by way of com- 
" memoration, that thereby we may be made partakers of the 
" reconciliation performed, applying the same unto us, (so far 
" as in this behalf ma/i may apply) through faith and devotion, 
" no less than if we saw with our eyes presently his body 
" hanging on the cross before us, and streams of blood issuing 
" forth. And so it is a sacrifice in very deed propitiatory, nut 
" for our act or work, but for his own work already done and 
" accepted. To this only we must ascribe remission and 
" removing of our sins." " If the term mass be taken for the 
" act of the priest, in respect of any his only doint/, it is not 
" able to remove sin. For so we should make the priest God's 
*' peer, and his act equal with the passion of Christ, as our 
" adversaries do unjustly slander us. Yet hath the mass 
" virtue and effect in some degree ; and is acceptable to God, 
** by reason of the oblation of the sacrifice, which, in the mass, 
" is done by the offerer, without respect had to Christ's 
" institution, even for the faithful prayer and devotion of the 
" party that offereth, which the School- doctors term ex opere 
" operantis. For then the oblation seemeth to be most 
" acceptable to God, when it is offered by some that is accept- 
" able. Now the party that offereth is of two sorts. The 
" one offereth immediately and personally ; the other offereth 
** mediately, or by mean of another and principally. The first 
" is the priest that consecrateth, offereth, and receiveth the 
" sacrament, who so doth these things in his own person, yet 
" by God's authority, as none other in so offering is concur- 
" rent with him. The party that offereth mediately or by 
" mean of another and principally, is the Church militant, iu 
" whose person the priest offereth, and whose minister he is 
** in offering. For this is the sacrifice of the whole Church. 
" The first party that offereth, is not always acceptable to 
*' God, neither always pleaseth him; because oftentimes he is 


" a sinner. The second party that oflfereth, is evermore 
" acceptable to God, because the Church is always holy, be- 
" loved, and the only spouse of Christ. And in this respect, 
" the mass is an acceptable service to God, ex opere operantiSf — 
" and is not without cause and reason called a sacrifice propi- 
" tiatory ; not for that it deserveth ntercy at God't hand, of 
" itself, as Christ doth, who only is, in that principal and special 
" sort, a sacrijice propitiatory ; but for that it moreth God to 
" give mercy and remission of sin, already deserved by Christ. 
" In this degree of a sacrifice propitiatory, we may put prayer, 
" a contrite heart, alms, forgiving of our neighbour, &c." * 

Now the only difference between this explanation and that 
which our opponents could offer, is this, that Harding held 
the corporal presence of Christ in the sacrifice, while our oppo- 
nents only admit a sacramental presence in it, (as, indeed, they 
confess that this is their only difference from the Romanists,) 
but the effect ascribed to the performance of the sacrijice by the 
priest is the same. Now of this effect only Jewel is here speak- 
ing J and of this effect so ascribed to it he says, that it is " a 
superstitious, a gross, and a Jewish error." His was not a 
mind to be deceived by all these fine words of Harding. He 
looked to the latent tenet which was concealed under all these 
plausible and delusive phrases. 

It was held by the Romish Church, and it is held by our 
opponents, that by the sacrificial act of the priest in the 
eucharist, remission of sins is obtained (whether mediately, or 
indirectly, or in whatever particular way they choose to say, I 
stay not to inquire,) for the w hole Church ; and such a notion 
was, in Jewel's estimation, " a superstitious, a gross, and a 
Jewish error." 

But it will be said. Do you then deny, that the service of the 
eucharist is, in any sense, propitiatory on behalf of the Church ? 
To such a question I must reply more at length than by a 
mere affirmative or negative, for both would be open to serious 
misconstruction. I deny altogether, that the mere offering up 
of the consecrated elements as a sacrifice to God is a propitia- 
1 See Jewel's Reply to Hard. Art. 20. Works, pp. 437—440. 


tion for the sins of the Church, which is what our opponents 
maintain. I deny, also, that the mere celebration of the 
eucharist is necessarily thus propitiatory, because it might be 
celebrated without any intercessory prayers for the whole 
Church, and still be valid to the communicants. Its pro- 
pitiatory nature depends upon the prayers offered in it. And 
I am far from denying, that the intercessory prayers offered 
upon such an occasion may have a propitiatory effect with 
God in behalf of those for whom they are oflFered. But it is 
very far from being a consequence of this, that the celebration 
of the eucharist with intercessory prayers for the Church, and 
the remission of sins to the Church, are like cauae (call it 
mediate, or instrumental, or what you will, but still cause,) and 
effect, so that where one takes place the other follows as a 
necessary effect. The propitiatory effect to be expected in 
this case is of the same kind as that which may be expected 
from intercessory prayer generally. And hence to make 
remission of sins for the Church a necessary effect and con- 
sequence of the celebration of the eucharist, (even though 
we substitute for the notion of the priest's sacerdotal prayers 
the prayers of the whole body of communicants,) is most un- 
warrantable, and directly leading men to a neglect of this 
sacred ordinance in their own persons, when they suppose that 
remission of sins is obtained for them by the acts or prayers of 
others. This is necessarily, and is proved by experience to be, 
the practical effect. 

But, for the exaltation of the priest, this no doubt is a most 
important doctrine. And in the Church of Rome no other 
doctrine has been so useful for filling the coffers of the Church ; 
and I fear that it would be far from uncharitable to suspect, 
with Bishop Morton, that the earnestness of their cry in favour 
of this their great Diana, is not a little attributable to the " no 
small gain" unto the ci-aftsmen, especially when we find them 
maintaining, that it is " not so available for many as if it be 
applied to one alone,'' (a crafty expedient for an almost infinite 
multiplication of them,) and that " when the priest taketh a 
" stipend of Peter, with a condition that he shall, by his inten- 


" tion, apply the mass unto him for the good of his soul ; and 

" yet peradventure hhall not intend it unto Peter's soul, but 
" unto Paul's, or to hus own; yet, notwithstanding his compact 
" with Peter, the blessing of this sacrifice shall be extended 
" according to the priest's intention." " This," says Bishop 
Morton, " might be thought to be no small happiness of their 
" priesthood, (if yet in a perfidiousness or simony there could 
" be any happiness,) wherein, by virtue of their sacrifice, the 
*' priest, eVen in doing an injury, is notwithstanding made 
" capable of a double benefit, as namely, a stipend from man, 
" and a blessing from God."^ 

This doctrine respecting the priest's intention, I take it for 
granted that our opponents repudiate; and I will only add 
my regret, that they should make such old friends as these 
two doctrines part company, and not rather have let them 
travel on together, till they both met their just reward. 

But to return. In what way, then, it may be asked, are 
the benefits of this Service to be obtained by individuals? 
We reply. Simply and solely by their own act, when, coming 
to this holy rite in faith and repentance, they receive the 
bread and wine as the symbols of the body and blood of 
Christ, in thankful remembrance of his death ; and, in the 
sacrifices of prayer and praise, offer up spiritually upon the 
altar of their hearts the true body and blood of Christ, the 
true sacrifice of the cross, as an atonement for their sins, and 
the foundation of all their hopes. It is not, as Harding calls 
it, " the sacrifice of the whole Church," but only that of those 
present at it. Nor does the priest act as the representative of 
the whole Church, but simply as the leader of the devotions 
of those present. 

And here lies the great and most important point of dis- 
tinction between our views and those of the Tractators. They 
hold, that it is by the sacrificial offering up of the consecrated 
bread and wine to God, in the office of the eucharist, that the 
priest obtains in strum entally remission of sins for the com- 
municants and the whole Church. We hold, that it is the 
1 MoETON's Cath. App. ii. 7. § 15. pp. 185, 6. 


personal service of each individual in the whole action of the 
eucharist, — when, receiving the bread and wine as the memo- 
rials of Christ's passion, he oflPers up spiritually, in his prayers 
and thanksgivings, the true sacrifice of the cross to the Father, 
— that obtains for that individual the blessings promised in the 

In the very same part of Bishop Jewel's works, from which 
our opponents have taken one of their extracts, that learned 
prelate thus speaks, clearly showing in what alone he con- 
sidered the sacrifice in the eucharist to consist ; — " The holy 
'* learned Fathers apply that word [i. e. unbloody] sometime 
" to prayer and other devotion of the mind, and sometime to 

" the ministration of the holy communion In respect 

'' of these gross and fleshly and bloody sacrifices [i. e. of the 
" Old Testament] our Christian sacrifices in the gospel, be- 
" cause they are mere spiritual, and proceed wholly from 
" the heart, are called unbloody. ... In like manner the 
'' ministration of the holy communion is sometimes of the 
" antient Fathers called an unbloody sacrifice, not in respect 
" of any corporal orjieshly presence that is imagined to be 
" there without bloodsuedding, but for that it repre- 
" senteth unto our minds that one and everlasting sacrifice 
" that Christ made in his body upon the cross .... This 
" remembrance and oblation of praises, and rendering of 
" thanks unto God for our redemption in the blood of Christ, 
" is called of the old Fathers an unbloody sacrifice . . . This 
" kind of sacrifice, because it is mere spiritual, and groweth 
" only from the mind, therefore it needeth not any material 
" altar of stone or timber to be made upon ... St. Augustine 
" saith, ' Sacrificium Novi Testamenti est, quando altar ia 
" cordis nostri munda et pura in conspectu Divinae Majestatis 
" offerimus.* ' The sacrifice of the New Testament is when 
" we oflfer up the altars of our hearts pure and clean in the 
" sight of the Divine Majesty/ In these respects our prayers, 
" our praises, our thanksgiving unto God for our salvation in 
" the death of Christ, is called an unbloody sacrifice." ^ 
' Jewel's Reply to Harding, Art. 17. Works, pp. 427, 8. 


The people^ then, are as much sacrificers as the priest, and 
should be taught to expect remission of sins, not from fiu 
sacrificing /or them, but from their oum sacrifice. Though the 
priest's may be the hand and voice more particularly engaged, 
the sacrifice must be made as much by them mentally, or they 
can expect no remission of sins through it. " It is," says 
Bishop Jewel, " no more the sacrifice of the priest, than the 
" sacrifice of any other of all the people."' And " it is not the 
" priest, but God only it is, that applieth unto each man the 
" remission of his sins in the blotjd of Christ ; not by means 
" of the mass, but only by the mean of faith "^ 

To the same effect (as we have already seen)' speaks 
Perkins as quoted by Mede. 

And so still more plainly speaks another of our opponents' 
witnesses, and in their own extract, namely, Bishop Bilson, — 
" Christ is offered daily but mystically, not covered with 
*' qualities and quantities of bread and wine, for those be 
" neither mysteries nor resemblances to the death of Christ, 
" but by the bread which is broken, by the wine which is 
" drunk ; in substance, creatures ; in signification, sacra- 
'' ments ; the Lord's death is figured and proposed to the 
" communicants, and they, for their parts, no less people 
" THAN PRIESTS, do present Christ hanging on the cross to 
" God the Father, with a lively faith, inward devotion, and 
" humble prayer, as a most sufficient and everlasting sacrifice 
"for the full remission of their sins, and assured fruition of 
" his mercies. Other actual and propitiatory sacrifice 
" than this the Church of Christ never had, never 
" taught." * And again ; " Neither they nor I ever denied 
" the eucharist to be a sacrifice. The very name enforceth it 
" to be the sacrifice oi praise and thanksgiving, which is the 
" true and lively sacrifice of the New Testament. The Lord's 
" Table, in respect of his graces and mercies there proposed 

1 Jewel's Reply to Harming, Art, 18. Works, p. 433. 

2 lb. Art. 19, p. 436. 3 ggg p_ 3 j above. 

* See extract given in Catena, in Tract 81, p. 67, or BiLSoy, Of subjection 
and rebellion, ed. 1585. 4to. p. 693. (ed. 1586. pp. 513, 14.) 


" to US, ia an heavenly banquet, which we must eat and not 
" SACRIFICE ; but the duties which he requireth at our hands, 
" when we approach his table, are sacrifices not sacraments ; 
" as namely, to offer him thanks and praises, faith and 
" obedience, yea, our bodies and souls to be living holy and 
" acceptable sacrifices unto him, which is our reasonable 
" service." ^ The former part of this extract is given in the 
Catena. The latter, beginning " The Lord's Table, &c.," is 
not noticed. 

Excepting, then, the value which may be attached to inter- 
cessory prayer, we maintain, that the benefit accruing from 
the celebration of the eucharistic ordinance, is confined to those 
who faithfully partake of it. I say, excepting the value which 
may be attached to intercessory prayer, because we have 
reason to hope, that the prayers offered by the faithful in that 
ordinance /or the whole Church are acceptable to God. God 
has promised to hear our intercessions for others, and when 
in the eucharist we pray, that spiritual blessings may be given 
to the whole Church for the sake of that sacrifice we are then 
commemorating, we may humbly hope, that God will hear us, 
and in his own time and way answer our prayers. 

I have already endeavoured to show, under a former head, 
that for the first two or three centuries, at least, the testimony 
of the Fathers is opposed to the practice of offering up the 
elements at all after consecration ; and therefore, even if that 
practice prevailed at a subsequent period, it is unnecessary to 
add anything further to show that even Patristical Tradition 
fails our opponents in this matter. But the main point is, not 
the mere question whether or not this practice prevailed, but 
(supposing it to have prevailed) with what doctrine it was as- 
sociated ; and I therefore think it important here to add, that 
even at a subsequent period, if there was a post -consecration 
offering up of the elements as, sacramentally, the body and 
blood of Christ, (and Cyril of Jerusalem in his fifth Mysta- 
gogical Lecture, if genuine, certainly speaks as if this was 
done,) still the language of the Fathers of the same period 
shows, that this external offering up was not intended by 
1 BiLSOX, Of subjection and rebellion, ed. 1585, p. G99. (ed. 1586. p. 522 ) 


them to usurp the place of, or at all interfere with, the in- 
ternal offering up of the sacrifice of the cross in tlie hearts of 
the worshippers, as forming the very essence of the sacrifice, 
and without which the other was worthless. And as the ex- 
ternal offering was performed hy the officiating minister, only 
as the hand and voice of the worshippers, so the latter was 
performed, and could only he performed^ by the worshippers 
themselves, and alone rendered them acceptable worshippers, 
and gave any value to the service, as far as they were con- 
cerned; exclusive, that is, of that indefinite and general value 
which a service including intercessory prayer for the whole 
body of the faithful might be supposed to have. Irenaeus, 
speaking on this very subject, i. e. with reference to the eu- 
charist, says, " If any one shall have attempted to offer purely, 
*' and rightly, and lawfully, as far as respects outward ap- 
" pearance only, but in his heart is not at peace with his 
" neighbour, nor has the fear of God, he does not deceive 
" God by that sacrifice which is rightly offered as to externals, 
" while he has sin in his heart, nor will such an oblation 
" profit him anything." ^ . . . " Sacrifices do not sanctify a 
" man, for God needs not sacrifice; but the conscience of him 
" who offers, when pure, sanctifies the sacrifice/'^ No words 
can more clearly show, that the offering or sacrifice is one 
which must be made by each individual, and that its ac- 
ceptability depends upon the state of mind of the offerer. 
And the puerile and evasive mode of explaining away this 
passage, by saying that the offering in the eucharist is al- 
ways pure, because it is presented by the holy Catholic 
Church through the hands of the priest, is unworthy of 
any candid mind. In fact, it makes the observation of 

' " Si enim quls, solximmodo secundum quod videtur, munde, et recte, et le^- 
time offerre tenteverit ; secundum autem suam animam non recte di\'idat earn 
quae est ad proximum conununionem, neque timorem habeat Dei ; non per id 
quod recte foris oblatum est sacrificiimi, seducit Deum, intus habens pecca- 
tum, nee oblatio talis proderit ei aliquid." Ibek. Adv. haer. iv. 18. p. 250. ed, 
Mass. (iv. 34. p. 325. ed. Grab.) 

2 " Non sacrificia sanctiiicant hominem ; non enim indiget sacrificio Dens ; 
sed conscientia ejus qui offert, sanctificat sacrificium, pura exsistens." Id. ib. 
p. 250. ed. Mass. (p. 326. ed. Grab.) 


Irenaeus useless and absurd, when applied, as he applies it, 
to the eucharist. And when Irenaeus says afterwards, that 
therefore the offering (munus) of the Church is an acceptable 
sacrifice, he is speaking (as the context shows) of the Christian 
Church, in opposition to the Jews, and contrasting the spiri- 
tual sacrifice offered in the former with the material sacrifice 
offered by the latter. 

Let us proceed, then, to the Fathers of a somewhat later 
period. The doctrine maintained by at least the most esteemed 
of these Fathers was, in all essential points, the same as that 
of those who preceded them. I will endeavour to show this, 
by proving, that, however some may have spoken so as to seem 
to countenance a post-consecration sacrifice of the elements, 
there is, for this period also, ample Patristical testimony 
for the doctrine, i. That the sacrifice in the eucharist was 
the offering of all that were present alike, and of tho$e only. 
ii. That the chief part of the sacrifice was that mental sacrifice 
of prayer and praise, which it is impossible for one man to 
offer for another. And hence, iii. That the people are as 
much the sacrificers as the priest, with the mere exception of 
the external act of ministration, iv. That the direct benefit 
to be derived from the celebration of the eucharist was to be 
expected only by the faithful communicants. 

To enter fully into these points would occupy more space 
than can be spared here for the purpose, but I will give one or 
two extracts in proof of each. 

i. The sacrifice of the eucharist was considered to be the 
offering of all that were present alike, and of those only. 

Thus, Ambrose, or, as the Benedictines would say, Pseud- 
Ambrose, writing on 1 Cor. xi. 33,4, says, "The Apostle 
" says, that we are to wait one for another, that the offering 
" of many may be celebrated at the same time ;" ^ where it is 
evident, that the offering was regarded as the offering of those 
only who were present. And hence it was ordered by the 

' " Ad invicem exspeotaiidum dicit, ut multorum oblatio simul celebretur." 
Comm. in 1 Ep. ad Cor. xi. 33, 4 Inter. Ambkos. Op. torn. ii. App. col. 150. ed. 
Bened. The work is in good esteem, though the authorsliip is doubtfuL 


Council of Elibcris, or Elvira, that no oblations should be 
received but from those who were about to communicate* 

ii. The chief part of the sacrifice was considered to be that 
mental sacrifice of prayer and praise which it is impossible for 
one man to oflFer for another. 

" Behold," Hays Chrysostom, " we have our victim above, 
" our priest above, our sacrifice above. Therefore let us offer 
'' such sacrifices as can be presented upon that altar, no longer 
" sheep and oxen, no longer blood and incense ; all these things 
" are abolished, and there is introduced in the place of these 
" rational worship. But what is rational worship ? That which 
" is offered by the soul; that which is offered by the spirit."^ 
Surely nothing can be plainer than this. 

Thus also Eusebius, after having said, that Christ " directed 
" us to offer continually to God a remembrance instead of a 
" sacrifice,"' and that this remembrance of Christ^s sacrifice 
was to be celebrated at the Table through symbols,^ imme- 
diately proceeds to remark, that " the prophetic oracles proclaim 
" these immaterial &nd m^n/ a/ sacrifices, thus speaking of them : 
" * Sacrifice to God the sacrifices of praise,^ &c. And again, 
" * The lifting up of hands is the evening sacrifice.' And 
" again, ' The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit.' "... God 
" having rejected the Mosaic sacrifices proclaims by the pro- 
" phetic voice that which is to be observed by us, saying, 
" ' From the rising of the sun to its setting, my name is glo- 

^ " Episcopuin, placoit, ab eo qui non oommonicat, monera accipere non de- 
bere." Concil. Hlib. can. 28. ed. Mendoz. 1594. p. 43. Or in any edition of 
the Councils. 

- "Opa yhp &yu ^x^'M*'' '''^ Itptlov, ifw rhv ifpta, iyu ri)v 6valav ovkovv rotairas 
afa(p4pwney Ovaias ras iv iKtiv(p Svvafityas ■irpo<T<(>fpfa0ou t^ Ovauurrripiif ovKtri 
irpo^ara koI ^6as, ovKtri ajfj.a Kol Kvlaaav •wa.vra ravra \(\trrai, kou iiyrnaf- 
v7iv€KTat ayrl tovtwv t) \oyiK^ \arptla. rl Sf l<mv fi Xoyuc^ Xarptla; to Sia 
'/'"X^Sj '■" 5<a irvevaaros. Chbts. Comment, in Hebr. hom. xL § 3. Op. torn, 
xii. pp. 114, 115. ed. Ben. 

^ Mirfifj.rji' Kol Vfuv vapadovs avrl BvaiaSTqi @(f SnjveKus irpo<T(p(p€iv. ErSEB. 
Demonstr. Evang. lib. i. c. ult. p. 38. ed. Col. 1688. 

* TovTov fijjTa rov Ovfiaros t-J>»' furijfjiTjy hrl rpair(^r)s iKT(\e1v Sxa ffvix^6\wv. 
lb. p. 39. 

* TovTos Se iriXiv ras offufidrovs icoJ vofpas Bvalas ra irpo(pTfTiKa KTipirTd 
\6yia, SSemj trepitxoy'a, Qvcrov r^ @eQ Overlay tuVeVcexs, k. t. \. lb. p. 39. 


" rifled among the nations, and in every place incense is offered 
" to my name, and a pure sacrifice.' Therefore we sacrifice to 
" the supreme God the sacrifice of praise ; we sacrifice a 
" divinely-inspired, and holy, and pious sacrifice ; we sacrifice 
" in a new way, according to the New Testament, a pure sa- 
" crifice. But 'the sacrifice of God * is said to be 'a broken 
" spirit; a broken and contrite heart God will not despise.'^ 
" . . . . And, moreover, we offer up the prophetic incense, 
" presenting to him in every place the sweetsmelling fruit 
" of a virtuous religion ; offering it through our prayers to 
" him. This also another prophet teaches, who said, * Let 
" my prayer be as incense in thy sight.* Therefore we both 
'' sacrifice and offer incense; at one time celebrating the 
" memory of the great sacrifice, according to the mysteries 
" delivered by him, and offering to God the offering of 
" thanksgiving (rr/y evxapioriai') for our salvation, in pious 
" hymns and prayers ; at another, consecrating ourselves 
" wholly to him."- 

No one, I suppose, can read this passage without admitting, 
that, according to its author, the immaterial and mental 
sacrifice in the eucharist was that in which the eucbaristic 
sacrifice at least principally consisted.' 

And hence (iii.) the people were considered as much the 
sacrificers as the priest, with the mere exception of the external 
act of ministration. 

For this we need nothing more than the testimony of Leo, 
who, speaking of the propriety of having the eucharist cele- 

' Bvoficc 5^Ta Toiyapovv r^ M -rdyruv Sty dvffiai' alyftrfuf dvofityrh (i>9to¥, 
»tal fffuvhv, Kol UpoirpfKfi OvfJM. Qvofxey KouyQs kutci t^jj' Koitrijy AioBfycJiy r^f 
Kadapay Ov<riay. &v<Tla 5« r^ 0f^ wyfvfia <rvyTfrptij.iifyoy ftprfrai, k. t. X. lb. 
p. 40. 

' OiiKOvy Kol 0v6f»,fy Kcd Bviuifity totc fiiy riiy /jjrljfijjy rov fitydXov Bvfiaros, 
Hark Tct irphs outoO 'rapaXoBfyra fivtrrr^pia eir»TtAoCvT«i, koI T^y imip aufn)plas 
Tjfiuv evxctpKyrirw 5»' fixrefiwy v^vwv re koI fvxuy rf SffirpoffKOfil^oyrfS' tot* 8« 
<r(pas ainohs 8Ay Kadttpovyrfs ainf, lb. p. 40. 

* Many other passages might be adduced to the same effect. The reader will 
find, for instance, the passage allnded to in a former page from Cyril Alex, in 
his answer to Juhan (lib. x. pp. 343, 345, 350. Op. torn. vi. ed. Aubert.) well 
worth referring to. 



brated more than once in the day on a great festival, if the 
communicants were so numerous that they were not all able to 
communicate at one and the same time, says, " Some part of 
" the people would necessarily be deprived of the opportunity 
" of performing their devotions, if, by prescning the custom 
" of having one mass only, they alone who assembled together 
" in the early part of the day should be able to offer the sacri- 
" fice."^ "By which words," says our opponents' witness, 
Bishop Jewel, " Leo teachcth us plainly, that the sacrifice is 
" offered no less by the people than by the priest." ^ And 
again ; " As this Council," i. e. of Toledo, " saitb, the priest 
" offereth the sacrifice at the altar or holy table, even so Leo 
" saith, every of the whole faithful people likewise offereth up the 
" same sacrifice. I say not any other, but the very self-same 
" sacrifice, and that in as ample manner as it is offered by the 
"priest." 3 

And thus in St. Mark's Liturgy it is said, " Receive, O 
" God, the thanksgivings of those that offer sacrifices and ob- 
" lations to thee." * Similar language occurs also in St. 

Observable also is the testimony of Chr}'sostom. " More- 
over," he says, " the prayer of thanksgiving in the eucharist 
" is common both to the people and the priest ; for the priest 
" does not give thanks alone, but also all the people." " The 
whole context is worth consulting on this matter. This 
act, be it observed, is spoken of by Justin Martyr^ as that by 
which the elements were blessed previous to their reception, 
and therefore this passage of Chrj'sostom shows, that, even in 

* " Necesse est autem, nt quaedam pars populi sua devotione privetnr, si, unius 
tantum Missse more servato, sacrificium offerre non possint, nisi qui prima 
diei parte convenerint." Leox. Mag>'. Epist. ad Dioscor. Ep. Alexandr. 
epist. 11. (al. 81.) Op. ed. Quesnell. 2a. Lugd. 1700. torn. i. p. 220. 

2 Jewel's Reply to Harding, Art. 13. Works, p. 360. ^ lb. p. 366. 

* Twv irpo<T<pip6vT<iiv Tos dvaias, /col ras iroo<r<pop<is, rh evxapiffr-fipia ■irp6<TS(^cu 
6 &ehs K. T. A. S. Mabci Liturg. in Renaudot. Liturg. Orient. Collect, torn. i. 
p. 136. ed. Lond. 1847. lb. p. 42. 

^ To TTjs evxciptcrrias izaKiv Koivi- ov5e yap eKuyos fvxaptcrrei iJi6vos, aXXa koI 
6 \ahs aitas. Cheys. Comment, in Ep. 2. ad Corinth- horn. 18. Op. torn. i. 
p. 568. ed, Ben. ^ See pp. 379, 380 above. 


this part of the Service, the priest was only acting as the leader 
of the devotions of the people. 

(iv.) The direct benefit to be derived from the celebra- 
tion of the eucharist was to be expected only by the com- 

" It" saith Ambrose, " as often as the blood is poured out, 
" it is poured out for the remission of sins, / ouffht always to 
" receive it, in order that my sins may always be remitted. 
" I who constantly sin, ought constantly to have the re- 
" medy." ^ 

" In vain," saith Chrysostom, complaining of the people's 
non-attendance at the eucharist, " is the daily sacrifice, in vain 
" do we stand at the altar, there is no one who communi- 
" cates.''2 But it would have been far from being in vain, if 
thereby remission of sins was obtained for the Church. 

Moreover, the antient practice of sending the consecrated 
bread and wine to those that were absent, whatever may be 
thought of it in other respects, strongly shows the feeling of 
the Primitive Church in this matter; which is also witnessed 
to by its strictness in expecting and requiring all who were 
competent to receive the eucharist to communicate whenever 
it was administered. 

These are but a few of the testimonies that might be ad- 
duced to show the opposition of the Fathers to the views 
of our opponents ; and however much their inaccurate and 
hyperbolical language may often perplex the inquirer, an im- 
partial review of their sentiments, as a whole, would, I am 
convinced, satisfy him, that the weight of Patristical testimony 
is overwhelmingly against both the Romanists and our oppo- 
nents; and this, be it remembeied, is all for which I contend 
in any point, as I make no pretensions to the support of 
*' everybody always everywhere.'* 

' " Si quotiescumque efifunditiir sanguis, in remissionem peccatorum fxinditur, 
debeo ilium semper accipere, ut semper mihi peccata diniittautur. Qui semper 
pecco, semper debeo habere medicinam." Ambkos. De Sacram. lib. iv. c. 6. 
Op. torn. ii. col. 372. ed. Ben. 

^ E*/cp dvffia KaOiifieptyii, f'lK-p irapfar-fiKafiti' Tip 6v(Tiatrrrjpi(f ouScU i ft,tTi'\<^V, 
Chbts. Comment, in Eph. horn. iii. § 4. Op. torn. xi. p. 23. ed. Ben. 

D D 2 

404 THE CnUlSTlA.N liKLKilON 

The Fathers, as a body, while tliey Rpcak (and justly) of 
the offering up of the real body and blood of Christ in the 
eucharist, and attribute the impetration of remission of sius to 
such a sacrifice alone, not only show their total dissent from 
the doctrine of transubstantiation, by speaking of the bread 
and wine as being still bread and wine after consecration, 
but, though some of them may maintain the propriety of 
an offering up of the bread and wine to God after consecra- 
tion, as symbolically the body and blood of Christ, disconnect 
themselves from the notion that the act of the priest in doing 
this is, even instrumentally, the procuring cause of any re- 
mission of sins, by speakitig of the sacrifice as consisting prin- 
cipally in that Twen/a/ offering of Christ's sacrifice in the prayers 
and praises of the hearts of the worshippers, which no one 
can offer for another. 

" As for the antient Fathers," says Bishop Morton, " who 
" in their objected testimonies talked of Christ sufferimj, being 
" slain, and dying in the eucharist, we Protestants subscribe to 
" their judgments with a full faith, in acknowledgment that 
" Christ's death, the proper work of our propitiation, is the 
" only object of our remembrance and faith." ^ 

I would observe, then, upon this head, lastly, that it is 
strictly true, in a sense, that the real sacrifice of the cross, the 
true body and blood of Christ, are offered up in the eucharist, 
not by iteration, but in the prayers of the faithful. Nay more, 
remission of sins can only be obtained by the offering up of 
the true sacrifice of the cross. And how can this be offered 
up ? Confessedly not in the external offering up of the con- 
secrated bread and wine, unless we maintain the doctrine of 
transubstantiation. It is only, and can only be, offered spiri- 
tually in the prayers and thanksgivings of the faithful. 
And hence, again, it follows, that no remission of sins 
can be obtained by any external symbolical offering of con- 
secrated bread and wine, or by any one individual for another.^ 

1 MoETOX, Of the Institution of the Sacrament of the blessed body and blood 
of Christ, ed. 1635. bk. 6. c. 9. p. 479. 

^ The importance of the subject treated of above has led me to enlarge upon 
it beyond what the limits of this work wotild strictly have permitted ; and it 


It has been objected, that in this statement respecting the 
" Eucharistic Sacrifice" (which remains in this edition precisely, 
in sense, what it was in the former) I have not " taken into 

has been still impossible to do more than to discuss it in ita prindpal featarM ; 
and to expose the inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and confusion of the Tnet 
upon which I have commented, would require more space than they are worth. 
Some of the Tractators appear to have hastily imbibed certain notions from 
the writings of Brett and Johnson, and one or two more of kindred views, 
and then, without even giving themselves time fully to understand the nature 
and consequences of the tenets to which they have thus pledged themselves, to 
have been led away by a partial similarity of language in other wTiters to claim 
a host in their favour who are altogether opposed to them. Let me commend to 
their notice the following statement of the doctrine they have undertaken to 
defend by one of the party from whom they appear to have derived it. " Un- 
der the gospel, when the bishop or priest hath received the people's oflered 
materials for the Christian sacrifice, and has made a prifstly oblation of them, 
they are then prepared to be made a sacrifice, and then the priest pronounceth 
the words of institution over them, and imitateth the actions of our ble«sed 
Lord, by which the priest's power to consecrat« by commission is shewed, and 
the sacred symbols become consecrated, as far as is in the power of man to 
do by commission ; and then they are fit to be oflered up to God by the 
priest in sacrifice for all the purposes of the institution ; and they are accord- 
ingly offered tip in sacrifice to God the Father, as commemorative of and in 
union with tlie one great sacrifice once offered by Jema Christ of himself ujmju 
the cross. And this is the proper oblation and sacrifice, wlucb may be called 
the tliird oblation, for the other two are neither d them a ncrifice, [i. e. the 
oblation of the people in presenting the bread and wine, and the oblation of 
the priest in placing them on the altar ;] but this third oblation is a sacrifice, 
and in the primitive Liturgies is so called at this period of the service, and not 
hefore ; [tliis is a mistake] ; and by the concomitant sacrificial prayer the priest 
begs of God the Father that he would please to do what none but he can do, to 
send down the Holy Ghost upon the oflered sacrifice, that the sacred and now 
in part consecrated symbols may, by his eflectual operation, become verily and 
indeed the most precious body and blood of Christ to the receivers. Then 
the Holy Eucharist is fully consecrated, and energetical for all the divine pur- 
poses of the institution ; so that now it is a fiill, perfect, and proper sacrifice 
of the body of Christ broken, and of his blood shed. All Christians, the 
whole Catholic Church, the whole communion of saints, are concerned in it, 
for therehg God the Father is propitiated for the whole mystical hodg of Christ, 
living and departed, as it is a sacrifice united to the one great sacrifice, of 
which all the legal sacrifices were but types." ' As to the precise period of the 

* Hox. A. Campbell's " Essay upon the Holy Eucharist," in his Treatisa 
on the Middle State, pp, 307, 308. Loud. 1721. fol. See, also, Bbett's Dissert, 
on the prim. Liturg. p. 121; and L'ESTEANGE'S All. of Div. Ofl". p. 183 
ed. 1G90. 


account" the antient Liturgies; and it is added^ "though he 
" grounds his proof entirely on neyative evidence, i. e. on the 
" silence preserved by the Fathers on the subject, he does not 
" give any reason to beUeve that he ever even heard of the 
" 'disciplina arcani.'" (Brit. Crit. xxxii. 91.) This is all the 
answer which a closely-printed review of above seventy pages 

■acrificial oblation, this paaaage diffen tram the ftatamanti of tonM of the party, 
who, more consiotcntly, a(lvocat«d the otder of the Service in t)ic I*niyer-bo(A 
of 1S49, in which, according U> the RomiBh amoD, a tort of ohUtiun waa mad* 
after the invixiition of tlie Holy Spirit, wiiich ftir that porpoM waa removed 
from its place in the antient Liturgies and pboed before the wordi of inatito- 
tion. And this is, clearly, the view of oar opponents, who uphold the Liturgy 
of 1649 (see Tract 81, &c.)> and even, as we have seen (p. 863 above), the Bomish 
canon of the Mass. But, in other respects, the paaaage seems fairly to repre- 
sent the views of such writers. 

There is one more point, however, to which I would here direct the reader's 
notice, in order to show him to what such views lead. In the eucharist the 
minister confessetUy i» to follow the example of our Lord when he inntituted 
it, and consoquently, if the one oflers a true propitiatory sacrifice to God in it, 
80 did the other. But Scripture tells us that Christ was " once offered," and 
that " by his one offering he hath perfected, Ac." This, when pressed home, 
was an argument not easily to Ixj evaded, and accordingly the great defender 
of the views of our opiwnents, Mr. Johnson, found himself compelled to take 
refuge in the assertion that our Lord's sacrifice was made in the eucharist. 
*' Our Saviour," he says, " laid down his life when by a free act of his will he did 
give his body and blood to God in the eucharitt." (Unbloody Sacrifice, part ii.p. 69.) 
And against the sacrifice of the cross it is pleaded, (I quote from Dr. Waterland) 
that to suppose it " is to render the sacrifice of Christ a bloody one indeed; so 
lloody as that it cannot he reconciled to purity of any sort, till killing one's self 
he esteemed a virtue." (Unbl. Sacr. part ii. p. 70.) And thus speaks Dr. Brett, 
" He could not offer himself a sacrifice in any other manner than hy symbols or 
representations ; for had he in any manner put himself to death, he might have 
been too justly accused of self-murder." (Brett's Answ. to plain Ace. p. 66.) 
I forbear ofiering any remark upon such statements, except to remind the 
reader, that these are two of our opponents' most favoured witnesses, and their 
works on the list of the Library oi Anglo- Catholic divines. The reader who 
desires to enter fiulher into the matter may consult Dr. Waterland's Appendix 
to his " Christian Sacrifice explained," in the 8th vol. of his Works. He will 
do well also to consult his " Sacramental part of the eucharist explained," and 
" Distinctions of Sacrifice," in the same volxune. He will there see also some 
just observations upon that approximation to the doctrine of tran.suhstantiation 
which some of our opponents' favourite witnesses had shortly before that time 
broached, and which I need not say have been revived by their admirers of 
the present day, but into which it would be beside our present subject to enter. 


gives on the point. Whether I have grounded my proof on 
the silence of the Fathers on the subject, the reader of the last 
few pages is so well able to judge, that I need not say a word 
on that point ; and if I have not done so, the remark about the 
" disciplina arcani," of course, falls to the ground. 

But as it respects the antient Liturgies, the reason is 
obvious why, in a necessarily brief discussion of the point, 
introduced incidentally in a work on the Rule of faith, it was 
desirable to keep to those testimonies ot the Fathers, the 
authorship of which could be depended upon, and which more 
fully showed their views than any mere Formulae, especially 
such as are notoriously interpolated, and cannot be traced 
beyond the fourth century, which is the case probably with 
all the antient Liturgies extant. 

And, in fact, when I allowed the argument to proceed upon 
the hypothesis, that after a time " the practice of offering up 
the elements after consecration" may have prevailed, I granted 
all, and I believe more than all, that the Tractators could ob- 
tain from those Liturgies in their favour. 

The truth is, however, that a more distinct reference to those 
Liturgies would only have strengthened my argument on the 
point ; for at least the chief of them do not sanction the practice 
of offering up the elements after consecration, and afford no 
countenance to the views of the Tractators. I believe 1 might 
say the same of all, but that I am not anxious about. 

What the Tractators insist upon is, that the elements, after 
they have been changed by consecration into (what I must 
take the liberty of calling) symbols of the body and blood of 
Christ, are to be offered up to God by the priest as a propi- 
tiatory sacrifice in memory of Christ's sacrifice upon the Cross. 
And this offering is made in the Liturgy of the Church of 
Rome, and something very similar was transplanted thence 
into the first reformed Liturgj' of our Church, namely that of 
1549, and from thence by Abp. Laud into the Scotch Service- 
Book of 1637. But this is not the case in the chief of the old 
Eucharistical forms that remain to us. 

To clear this point (which is of some importance) to the 

408 THE CHRISTIAN KI l.l<,|i.\ 

reader, T would remind him, tliat tlie act of consecration, 
according to the best authoriticM and the view of our Church 
(as shown by her Service), consists not merely of the reci- 
tation of the words of institution ("take, eat, this i»," &c.), 
but of prayer for God's blessing upon the elements, which in 
our Church is a prayer that we in receiving them may be 
made partakers of the body and blood of Christ.^ Now, in 
none of the more important of the antient Liturgies, (to say 
the least) is there any offering up of the elements after this 
prayer. For instance, let us take the Clementine Liturgy, 
and we find, that the ofi'ering up of the elements (which are 
distinctly called " this Bread and this Cup") occurs just after 
the recitation of the words of institution, but just before the 
prayer to God to send down his Holy Spirit "that he may 
" make this bread the body of thy Christ, and this cup the 
" blood of thy Christ ;" and no offering up of the elements 
takes place after that.- The same is the case with what is 
called the Liturgy of St. James, where however the more pri- 
mitive expression, " we offer to thee this bread and this cup," is 
changed into, we " offer to thee this tremendous and unbloody 

* The Church of Rome maintaiiu, againtit anoverwhehningly^epontfero/tii^ 
weight of evidence against her in Antiquity, that the form of consecration con- 
sists of the bare recitation of the words of Institution. Our learned Bingham, 
however, has clearly proved, that the testimonies of the early Fathers are almost 
unanimous in declaring, that besides the words of Institution, " Prayer to God 
to sanctify the gifts by his Holy Spirit" was necessary to the consecration of the 
elements. (Antiq. bk. 15. c. 3. §. 12.) And the same view is maintained even 
by Dr. Brett, though he most incorrectly charges the Protestants with holding, 
like the Romanists, that the words of Institution are " the only Form of Con- 
secration," (CoUect. of Liturg. 1720. Dissert, p. 18.) and even accuses onr 
Church of sanctioning this view in her Service, (ib. p. 15.) though the Form is 
expressly styled "the Prober of Consecration," and contains the words, "grant 
that we receiving these thy creatures of bread and wine [which have been pre- 
viously dedicated or offered for the purpose on the Holy Table] according to 
thy Son ova Saviour Jesus Christ's holy institution, in remembrance of his 
death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood ; " 
which is in fact equivalent to the Form of Consecration in the antient Liturgies, 
while we avoid expressions which have led to false doctrine. 
, * See Constit. Apostol. Ul?. \-iii. c. 12. Inter Patr. Apost. ed. Coteler. 1724. 
torn. i. p. 407. 


sacrifice/' ^ but the sacrifice is only of tlie bread and wine to 
be applied to the purposes of the Eucharist, for the prayer 
follows after, that God will send his Holy Spirit to make the 
bread the body of Christ and the wine his blood. The same 
is the order observed in the Liturgies of St. Chrysostom and 
St. Basil. In the latter, the words are only, " we offer to thee 
thine own, out of thine own gifts," that is, clearly, the gifts of 
bread and wine, according to the language (above quoted) of 
Irenaeus. In the former, we find added to these words the 
following, " we offer to thee this reasonable and unbloody wor- 
ship" {XaTpdav), which however do not affect the question at 
issue.^ And in the probably still more antieut Liturgy of 
St. Mai'k, there is no formal oblation of the bread and wine at 
all in this latter part of the Service ; for the words used are 
only these, " We, O Lord God, have set before thee thine own, 
out of thine own gifts ;"'* and then follows the prayer, " Send 
" down thine Holy Spirit upon us and upon these loaves 
" and these cups, that the Almighty God may sanctify and 
" thoroughly consecrate them [showing that they were not 
" considered as consecrated before], making the bread the 
" body and the cup the blood of the New Testament of our 
" Lord Himself our God, our Saviour," &c. And nothing in 
the shape of oblation or presentation of the elements comes 
after this.^ And it is observable that in this Liturgy the word 
" sacrifice" is applied to the elements in at least two places 
before either the recitation of the words of institution or the 
invocation. One instance I have already mentioned above 
(p. 402) ; another is, where the priest, on signing the elements 
with the sign of the cross, which is done previous to the reci- 

* T))v <l>o$tpa.y raim\v koX iyaifKUcroy dvaiay. FabbicH Codex Apocr. N. T. 
Pars 3a. Hainb. 1719. p. 82. 

* See them in tlie 'ApxifpariKhi'. Constant. 1820. fol. or in any work giving 
the Greek Liturgies. Tliat of Basil is in Renaudot. Lit. Or. Coll. Both are 
given in an English translation by Brett in his " Collection of Liturgies." 

' Sol Kvptf d ©eJ>s rinwv rh ffh iK rwv awy Swpuy ■KpofOTjKafj.fy iviirri6y aou. 

* See Renaudot. Liturg. Orient. Collect. e<L 1847. torn. i. pp. 141, 142; 
or, Fabeicii Codex Apocr. N. T. Pars 3a. pp. 297, 8. In EugUsh in Bbitt's 
Collection of Liturgies. 


tation of the words of institution, speaks of them as " this 
sacrifice" {ravr-qv ti\v OvaLav). 

But the Church of Rome has completely transposed the 
parts in this division of the Service, making the prayer to God 
to send his Spirit upon the elements precede the recitation of the 
words of institution (by which they maintain that the priest tran- 
substantiates them), and the offering up of the elements then 
comes after both the prayer and the words of institution, and 
so is made to be the offering up of the consecrated (and, as they 
suppose, transubstantiated) elements ; which is represented as 
a sacrifice of atonement, valid through its antitype, offered up 
by the priest as a Mediator for the people with God. 

And this order was followed in our first reformed Prayer- 
Book of 1549,^ but was altered immediately after in the 
revision of 1552, and has never been restored. 

Consequently we find, that so far from the antient Liturgies 
favouring the doctrine of our opponents, those who have taken 
similar views with them have been obliged to make a most 
important alteration in the order of the Eucharistical Service 
from that observed in those Liturgies, so as to turn a simple 
offering or dedication of the bread and wine to God's service 
in that rite into an offering up of the sacramental Body and 
Blood of Christ ; which they would fain make out to be an 

' This variation from the antient Liturgies is admitt«d by Dr. Brett himself, 
who says, that " in this the Roman Canon and that EngUsh Liturgy which was 
made from it, are singular and particular, in that they place this Invocation 
before the words of institution and the oblation of the elements, which in all 
other Liturgies follows in the last place ;" and adds, that this " certainly is the 
most natural order, the Holy Spirit by his descent completing and perfecting 
the consecration." (Collect, of Liturg. 1720. Dissert, p. 127.) So that he holds, 
that the elements were not consecrated till after the Invocation, and a glance 
at the antient Liturgies he has himself given would have shown him, that there 
was no offering up of the elements after that Invocation ; while nevertheless, to 
uphold his doctrine, (though he puts an oblation and the invocation in the old 
place) he praises the Liturgy of 1549, and his " New Communion Office" proposes 
a prayer to God, after the Invocation, " to accept these our oblations [mean- 
ing the elements j, and to receive these our prayers, which [^oblations and 
prayers, as the stops show] tee offer unto thy Divine Majesty." (lb. p. 143.) 
And thus he has made a Form of his own for which no preceding Liturgy of 
any Church or age afforded an example. 


atoning sacrifice offered by the priest for the sins of the people, 
yea, even of the whole Church. 

It is maintained, fourthly, by the Tractators, that, by this 
sacrifice so offered, an additional refreshment is obtained for 
the souls of the dead in the Intermediate State. 

This is a question which more immediately concerns the 
point we have next to consider; to which, therefore, we refer 
the reader ; and we shall there prove, that the prayers for the 
dead, made by the antients, were (to use the* language of 
Bishop Morton,) only "thankful congratulations for their 
" present joys, or else testimonies of their hope and desires of 
" their future resurrection, and consummation of their blessed- 
" ness, both in their bodies and souls." ^ 

Such prayers were always made at the celebration of the 
Eucharist, and most properly; for at what time could we 
more appropriately introduce such supplications, than on such 
an occasion ; and hence it was, that the Eucharist came to be 
often celebrated in the Primitive Church at the burial of the 
dead, when these prayers might be considered as having a 
peculiar reference to the person whose body had just been in- 
terred; and so in our own Church, in the time of Queen 
Elizabeth (a. 1560), a Form for the "celebratio ccenae Domini 
in Funebribus, si araici et vicini defuncti communicare velint," 
was issued by Royal authority.^ And hence the term " obla- 
tions for the dead," frequently to be met with in Tertullian 
and Cyprian, meaning celebrations of the Eucharist (which 
was called the oblation) with a particular reference to a person 
deceased, in which, probably, was offered a thanksgiving for 
the blessings vouchsafed him during life, and a prayer that he 
might attain a happy resurrection, and find mercy at the day 
of Judgment, and be admitted to that perfect state of happi- 
ness which then awaits the just. 

(3) There remains for our consideration the third doctrine 
for which it is said that we are indebted to Tradition ; viz. 
That there is an Intermediate State, in which the souls of the 
faithful are purijied, and grow in grace ; that they pray fur us, 

' Mobton's Cath. App. ii. 8. § 2. p. 190. 

' Con'^il. Britaiin. ed. Wilkins. iv. 217. or. Sparrow's Collection of Articles, &c. 


and that our jtrayers l>enefit tliem ; — words, whose meaning is 
80 elastic, that it is difficult precisely to know what the doc- 
trine intended to be conveyed by them is, as they might be 
understood so as to include almost the whole llomish doctrine 
of Purgatory. 

As this is a matter of no little interest and importance, 
and there may be mistakes in both extremes respecting it, we 
shall devote a few pages to the consideration of it. 

In the first place, however, I must repeat the remark, that 
any teaching upon this subject, which depends upon Patris- 
tical statements for its authority, is as uncertain and unautho- 
ritative as are those statements. All which we receive as 
certain on the point, is grounded upon the declarations of 
Scripture ; and however little Scripture may be supposed to 
have revealed respecting it, with that little we must rest 
satisfied, as being all that can be certainly known respecting 
it ; nor has our Church, as far as I am aware, laid down any- 
thing respecting it which Scripture does not teach. It is a 
point, however, in which men may differ somewhat in opinion ; 
and one may see more, and another less, in Scripture ; and 
consequently the faith of men may vary in extent, inasmuch 
as Scripture has not spoken so clearly on this point as on 
those that are more essential to us. There are, nevertheless, 
limits which Scripture will not allow us to pass in our notions 
on this matter ; limits which the Romanists have grievously 
transgressed ; and therefore it is very necessary to define and 
limit the meaning of words used in common. The Ro- 
manists, when they speak of the doctrine of the Intermediate 
State, mean theii* tenet of Purgatory ; and it is to be feared, 
that the doctrine which our opponents hold on this subject, is 
not sufficiently dissimilar; while, nevertheless, the doctrine 
that there is an Intermediate State in which the souls of the 
just are, between their death and resurrection, different from 
that in which they will be placed after the day of Judgment, is, 
in my belief, clearly deducible from Scripture ; and that, hy 
long residence in such a State, such souls attain a higher degree 
of sanctification than they had upon entering it, seems to be a 
truth that necessarily flows from the acknowledged character 


of that State. Moreover, if the dead in Christ await the 
period of the Resurrection and Judgment to be put in posses- 
sion of that heavenly inheritance in which they will again 
enjoy communion with the Father, then a prayer that the 
Lord will be pleased to hasten the period of his future coming 
and place his Church in the possession of that inheritance, 
does in a sense include the dead as well as the living ; but 
more than this neither Scripture nor the writings of the earliest 
Fathers seem to warrant. 

I will now endeavour to show, that the doctrine of the 
Intermediate State may be proved from Scripture. 

" When the Son of man shall come in his glory," saith our 
Lord, " with all the holy angels, then shall he sit upon the 
" throne of his glory. And before him shall be gathered all 
" nations, and he shall separate them, &c. Then shall the 
" King say unto them on his right hand. Come, ye blessed of 
" my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the 
" foundation of the world," &c. (See Matt. xxv. 31, et seq.) 
Is it not apparent from this passage, that the righteous do not 
" inherit the kingdom," until after this sentence at the day of 
Judgment ? It cannot surely be said, that the righteous 
come from the possession of that kingdom to be placed at the 
bar only to be sent back to it ? 

And this is still more apparent from a passage of St. Peter, 
where, speaking of the promised inheritance of the saints, he 

calls it " an inheritance reserved in heaven for you 

" who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salva- 
" tion, ready to be revealed in the last time," adding, " Be 
" sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to 
" be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.** 
(1 Pet. i. 4, 5, 13.) 

Indeed, that the saints should be brought up to Judgment 
after having been put in possession of the promised inherit- 
ance, or, which is equivalent, that they should be put in pos- 
session of that inheritance before Judgment is passed upon 
them, seems to render the Judgment nugatory and useless. 
And the notion of a particular Judgment at the time of death. 


which some have entertained, hasj as far as I am aware, no 
support in Scripture. On the contrary. Judgment in, I think, 
always connected with the final day of account. " lie that 
" rejectoth nie," saith our Lord, " and receiveth not my words, 
" hath one that judgeth him; the word that I have Hpoken, 
" the same shall judge him in the last day." (John xii. 48.) 
The notion of any other Judgment than that which is 
to take place at the last day, is a mere figment of the 

Moreover, the period of the Resurrection and Judgment is 
the period everywhere pointed out in the Scriptures as that to 
which our eyes should be directed as the day of reward. 
" When thou makest a feast, call the poor, &c., and thou 
" shalt be blessed, for they cannot recompense thee ; for thou 
'* shalt be recompensed a/ Mc resurrection of the just." (Luke 
xiv. 13, 14.) " Who will render to every man according to 
" his deeds. To them who by patient continuance in well 
" doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal 

" life. But unto them that are contentious indignation, 

" &c. In the day when God shall judye the secrets of men by 
" Jesus Christ according to my Gospel." (Rom. ii. 6 — 16.) 
" That the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.'* 
(1 Cor. v. 5.) "To you who are troubled rest with us, when 
" the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his 
" mighty angels," &e. (See 2 Thess. i. 7, et seq.) " I have 
" fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept 
" the faith : Henceforth there is laid up for %ie a crown of 
" righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall 
" give me at that day : and not to me only, but unto all them 
" also that love his appearing." (2 Tim. iv. 7, 8.) " When 
" the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of 
" glory that fadeth not away." (1 Pet. v. 4.) " The nations 
" were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the 
" dead, that they should be judged, and thou shouldest give 
" reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and 
" them that fear thy name" &c. (Rev. xi. 18.) 

Now these passages (and many others of like import might 


be added to them,) seem clearly to show, that the great pro- 
mised reward is not to be expected by the servants of Christ 
until the day of Judgment after the Resurrection, and conse- 
quently that until that period they are in a different state 
from that in which they will be placed afterwards. 

That there is, howeve», a State of rest and peace into which 
the souls of believers are admitted at their death, is evident 
from our Lord's parable of the rich man and Lazarus, where 
he tells us, that Lazarus, when he died, was carried by the 
angels into Abraham's bosom, (Luke xvi. 23,) which is evi- 
dently a metaphorical expression, signifying a state of rest 
and happiness, and is used by many of the Fathers to express 
the intermediate state of the righteous, as indeed it was among 
the Jews in our Saviour's time. There is also a passage in the 
Book of Revelation, which, while it seems clearly to show, 
that the martyrs themselves await the period of the Resur- 
rection for their full reward, also indicates, that they are in 
a state of consciousness and of happiness. " AVhen he had 
" opened the fifth seal," it is said, " I saw under the altar the 
" souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for 
" the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud 
" voice, saying. How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou 
" not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the 
" earth ? And white robes were given unto every one of them ; 
" and it was said uuto them, that they should rest yet for 
" a little season, until their fellow-servants also, and their 
" brethren that should be killed as they were, should be 
" fulfilled." (Rev. vi. 9—11.) In this state, then, they are 
to remain until the end, when they and all their brethren are 
to receive their reward together. 

And the existence of this Intermediate State of rest is further 
confirmed by our Lord's promise to the dying penitent thief, 
"Verily I say unto thee. To-day shalt thou be with me in Pa- 
radise," (Luke xxiii. 43,) the soul of Christ being about to 
descend to hades for the period between his death and resur- 
rection. (Acts ii. 27, 31.) 

And in like manner the souls of the wicked, though in a 


State of suffering, are not in that State in wliich tliey will be 
placed after the Judgment, for they also await the deciHion of 
the great day of account to receive their full punishment, how- 
ever much their present condition may be, and no doubt is (like 
that of the righteous) an earnest of that which surely awaits 
them. For, " we must all appear before the Judgment-seat of 
" Christ, that every one may receive the things done in the 
" body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good 
" or had." (2 Cor. v. 10.) " And God reserves the unjust unto 
" the day of Judgment to be punished." (2 Pet. ii. 9.) See 
also Rom. ii. G — 10. 

And when the rich sinner died, he lifted up his eyes in 
hades, and was in torments ; (Luke xvi. 23 ;) but, after the 
final Judgment, the wicked will be cast into " the lake of fire," 
(rj/v \lfxvr]v tov -rrvpo's) (llev. xx. 15,) that lake in which hades 
itself is to be swallowed up. (ver. 14.) 

And this word hades seems to be the name for the Inter- 
mediate Place of all departed spirits, for in the same place, 
though in a different division of it, was the soul of Lazarus in 
a state of rest and peace ; and to the same place went the soul 
of our Saviour between his death and resurrection, (Acts ii. 
27, 31 ;) and at the final Judgment death and hades deliver 
up the dead that are in them, who are judged every man ac- 
cording to their works, (Rev. xx. 13 ;) and hence St. Paul, 
when contemplating the resurrection of the saints, says, " O 
hades, where is thy vietoiy?" (1 Cor. xv. 55.)^ And of this 
place our Lord is said to have the keys, (Rev. i. 18,) doubtless 
with reference to that power by which, at the last day, he will 
call out of it the souls of the departed, to reunite them to 
their bodies, when death and hades shall deliver up the dead 
that are in them, (Rev. xx. 13 ;) and thus the gates of hades 
shall not prevail over his Church, (Matt. xvi. 18 ;) for though 

' The word hell, sometimes used by our translators to express hades, is, in 
its proper 'signification (in which, perhaps, our translators have also used it 
in Acts ii. 27, 31, and Eev. xx. 13,) exactly expressive of the meaning given 
above to the word hades, though unfortunately it ha;s become almost exclu- 
sively appropriated to a more limited sense. In its primary and original signi- 
fication, says Lord King, " It imports no more than an invUible and hidden 


for a time they shall detain it, yet at the period of the Resur- 
rection it shall be called thence by him who has the keys of 
those gates in his hands ; and then it shall be said, " O hades, 
where is thy victory ?" 

If, then, these Scriptures show, that there is such an In- 
termediate State, in which the souls of the faithful remain 
in a holy and happy condition till the period of the llesur- 
rection and Judgment, then their progressive sanctificatiou 
in such a State seems a necessary consequence; and, more- 
over, a prayer that they and we may ultimately attain a 
happy resurrection, and find mercy at the day of Judgment, 
is only a prayer for blessings for which we are taught to 
pray. The purification which such a State is calculated to 
produce, is no improbable mode of preparation to make us 
meet for and capable of the full enjoyment of the beatific vision 
of God in the State which will succeed the Judgment. But 
the only purification, be it observed, of which we here 
speak, is that which necessarily results from a residence in 
such a State as that in which, the Scripture» a»mre m*, the 
souls of the faithful departed are placed, namely, a State of 
rest, peace, and holiness, from which the wicked are excluded. 
And the only prayers which we admit to be justifiable, 
are such as the declarations of Scripture authorize. And 
the prayers of which we have here spoken, were, as Arch- 
bishop Usher has shown, precisely those which were made in 

place, being derived from the old Saxon word hil, which signifies to hide, or 
from the participle thereof, hilled, that is to say, hidden or covered ; aB in the 
western parts of England at this very day, to hele over any thing signifies, 
amongst the common people, to cover it ... . From whence it appears that 
the word hell, according to its primitive notion, exactly answers to the Greek 
word §5rjy, hades, which signifies the common tnansion of all separated goult, 
and was so called quasi 6 ai'Sfjj tSttos, because it is an unseen place, removed 
from the sight and view of the living, according to which the translator of 
Irenseus renders it by an invisible place (invisibilem locum, Hb. v. c. 26.)" 
King's History of the Apostles' Creed, c. iv. pp. 191, 2. ed. 1719 ; where see 
more. In the older version of the Psalms, in the Book of Common Prayer, 
there is a very clear instance of its use in this sense. " What man is he that 
liveth, and shall not see death ; and shall he deliver his soul from the hand of 
hell ? " (Ps. Ixxxix. 48.) 



the antient Church in their commemorations for the dead. 
Having noticed some of these prayers, the Archbishop says, — 
" In these, and other prayers of the like kind, we may descry 
" evident footsteps of the primary intentions of the Church in 
" her supplications for the dead ; which was, that the whole 
" man, not the soul separated only, might receive public remis- 
" sion of sins, and a solemn acquittal in the Judgment of that 
" great day, and so obtain both a full escape from all the con- 
" sequences of sin, — the last enemy being now destroyed, and 
" death swallowed up in victory, — and a perfect consummation 
" of bliss and happiness." ^ And again,—" The Church, in 
" her commemorations and prayers, had relation .... unto 
" those that led their lives in such a godly manner as gave 
" pregnant hope unto the living that their souls were at rest 
" with God ; and to such as these alone did it wish the accom- 
" plishment of that which remained of their redemption ; to wit, 
" their public justification and solemn acquittal at the last day, 
" and their perfect consummation of bliss, both in body and soul, 
" in the kingdom of heaven for ever after. Not that the event 
" of these things was conceived to be any ways doubtful, for 
" we have been told, that things may be prayed for, the event 
" whereof is known to be most certain, but because the comme- 
" moration thereof was thought to serve for special use, not 
" only in regard of the manifestation of the aflfection of the 
" living toward the dead, (he that prayed, as Dionysius noteth, 
" desiring other men's gifts as if they were his own graces,) but 
" also in respect of the consolation and instruction which the 
" living might receive thereby." ^ And so Bishop Morton, 
speaking of these prayers, says, — " \Yhat can all these prayers 
" else signify, but thankful congratulations for their present 
"joys, or else testimonies of their hope and desires of their future 
" resurrection, and consummation of their blessedness, both in 
" their bodies and souls ? " ^ 

* Ushee's Answer to the Jesuit's Challenge, pp. 154, 5. 

2 lb. p. 178. See the whole of his observations on " Prayer for the dead," 
in pp. 133—91. 

3 Moeton's Catholic Appeal, ii. 8. § 2. p. 190. I would here observe, that 


And so much the language of our Church seems to some 
to imply, when, in her Service for the burial of the dead, she 
teaches us to pray, that God would " shortly accomplish the 
" number of his elect, and hasten his kingdom, that we, with 
" all those that are departed in the true faith of his holy name, 
" may have our perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and 
" soul, in his eternal and everlasting glory." Here is a clear 
reference to that more perfect State of happiness in which the 
saints of God are to be placed after the union of body and 
soul, in the Resurrection, and a prayer that that period may 
shortly arrive, and that we, with those who have departed in 
the true faith, may then be put in possession of that hap- 
piness. There is, no doubt, an ambiguity in the phraseology 
which leaves it open to two interpretations ; but, as Abp. Usher 
says, in the passage just quoted, it does not |how that we con- 
sider the event at all doubtful in the case of those who have 
departed in the true faith, even if we suppose such a prayer to 
include them,; and certainly a prayer that the Church may 
soon be put in possession of the promised inheritance, is one in 
which all its members are interested. But the prayers which 
went further than this in the first Prayer-Book of Edward VI., 
were, at the revision, cancelled. 

But our opponents, — though certainly differing from the 
Romanists in this matter, yet neverthel